Phone company asks payment delay

Posted March 12, 2009, at 10:38 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — FairPoint Communications wants to delay a scheduled $11.25 million debt payment that’s due at the end of March.

FairPoint, which operates about 1.6 million customer lines in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, is asking Maine’s Public Utilities Commission to approve the payment delay until June. It’s pledging to resume regular quar-terly payments after that.

FairPoint made similar requests to regulators in New Hampshire and Vermont.

FairPoint Chairman Gene Johnson told the Portland Press Herald that the debt waiver is a one-time request and that operations will stabilize by summer. Johnson said a planned expansion of high-speed Internet service is ahead of schedule.

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