Phone customers may face delays over FairPoint changes

The big effort to change-over the state's telesystem from Verizon to FairPoint may not be going as smoothly as some consumers and critics would have liked. But in fairness to the parties involved, the change-over is complex, and it's not surprising that there are some bugs in the process.

Now comes word from FairPoint officials that some Vermont telephone customers may be affected by the upcoming transition by FairPoint from Verizon-owned systems. Affected will be new systems owned and operated by FairPoint, now Vermont's largest telephone company.

Residential and business customers of FairPoint who are seeking new service or a change to their current service may experience delays in the completion of their orders. Some customers of other telephone carriers utilizing FairPoint's network may be affected as well.

The cutover to new systems will take place at the end of January. On Jan. 23, FairPoint will begin holding most orders until cutover is complete, which may result in a delay of several days or weeks, depending on the service ordered.

The period for delays in orders will begin in early January and will vary depending on the service requested, the telephone carrier providing service, and the backlog that develops during the period leading up to and immediately following cutover. Consumers who anticipate the need for new service or a change to their existing service in the next couple of months should contact their telephone provider now to avoid any possible delay as a result of the cutover.

The transfer is one result of the 2008 sale of Verizon to FairPoint in Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire, and will give FairPoint its own platform for providing telecommunications services to its customers.

During the transfer of systems, customers should see no interruption or change to their service. FairPoint will continue to carry out repairs and customers will still be able to dial 911.

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