Public advocate wants FairPoint to hire expert

Posted July 27, 2009, at 11:14 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — FairPoint Communications is preparing to go before regulators as it seeks to be relieved of more than $845,000 in penalties. Meanwhile, it’s weighing a response to a request for the hiring of an outside consultant to review the telecom’s back-office systems.

Maine’s public advocate called for the hiring of an outside expert to scrutinize FairPoint’s computer systems. North Carolina-based FairPoint already has a consultant to help integrate its systems.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission has scheduled a hearing at 2 p.m. Tuesday at 242 State Street in Augusta to discuss FairPoint’s request for a waiver of fines imposed for poor wholesale service. They’re part of nearly $3 million that FairPoint estimates it owes to local phone competitors across northern New England for poor network service from February through April.

New Hampshire regulators have scheduled a meeting Tuesday to review FairPoint’s operating problems.