Vermont regulators begin hearings over FairPoint merger - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont regulators begin hearings over FairPoint merger

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Vermont regulators Monday begin hearings over the proposed merger of FairPoint Communications.

A deal reached in December calls for Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc. to buy FairPoint for $1.5 billion. The Illinois-based company has fiber optic networks in 11 states, and the merger is expected to help the company expand into northern New England.

FairPoint has faced criticism in recent years from customers and state officials over service quality. The expansion of the company's broadband network will also likely be a key point of discussions.

FairPoint is based in North Carolina and provides phone and Internet to customers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Leaders of the unions representing FairPoint workers in New England have said they viewed the sale with "cautious optimism."

The Public Service Board hearings are scheduled to run through Wednesday.

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FairPoint bought by Illinois telecom company

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