W.Va. Consumer Advocate, Staff Oppose Phone Deal

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- The Public Service Commission's staff and consumer advocate division are opposing Frontier Communications Corp.'s plan to buy Verizon's wire line business in West Virginia and 13 other states.

Both recommended the merger's rejection in filings Monday with the PSC.

Consumer advocate Byron Harris says his division is concerned that Frontier won't have the resources to remedy problems with Verizon's network.

If the deal is approved, the staff says Verizon should be required to invest $300 million in its landlines in West Virginia.

Verizon spokesman Harry Mitchell says two federal agencies and three other states support the deal.

Frontier spokesman Steven Crosby says the company hopes the PSC sees the benefit of expanded service in West Virginia.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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