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FCC Approves Frontier's Chapter 11 Restructuring, But Union Blasts It

Frontier plans to emerge from bankruptcy early this year.

Edward Gately

January 15, 2021

2 Min Read
North America growth
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Frontier Communications moved another step toward emerging from bankruptcy with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) approval of its Chapter 11 restructuring.

The FCC is the latest regulatory body to approve Frontier’s Chapter 11 restructuring. The company now has regulatory approval from the FCC and 13 states.

Frontier expects to emerge from Chapter 11 early this year.

Frontier filed bankruptcy last April as part of its restructuring support agreement. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved its bankruptcy reorganization plan in August.

When it emerges, Frontier says it will reduce its debt by more than $10 billion. Furthermore, it will be more financially flexible to support continued investment.

It’s also promising an improved customer experience and long-term growth.

Just 4 States Left

Bernie Han is Frontier’s president and CEO.

Han-Bernard_Frontier-e1575491585424.jpg

Frontier’s Bernie Han

“We continue to make important progress in our constructive engagement with regulators across our service territories,” he said. “And this approval from the FCC marks a major milestone. We continue to await approval in just four states and are working to expedite those approvals to enable the company to emerge from Chapter 11. Our team remains focused on our transformative strategy to strengthen our financial foundation, improve our operations and enhance our customer experience throughout the U.S.”

Jonathan Spalter is president and CEO of USTelecom.

“We are pleased by the FCC’s affirmative decision for Frontier,” he said. “More than ever, Frontier serves a vital function in providing essential telecommunications services.”

CWA Criticizes FCC Approval

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) slammed the FCC decision. It said the agency dismissed concerns about Frontier’s intention to follow through on promised investment to improve service.

The CWA also says the agency dismissed concerns about a proposed “virtual separation” plan. That could separate service areas between states that will get new fiber deployment and states that will not.

“In the absence of an investigation of these issues by the FCC, some states like California are pursuing thorough oversight that is resulting in strong commitments to ensure the bankruptcy reorganization will benefit the public,” the union said. “CWA will continue its advocacy for other states to follow suit and for Frontier to use its enhanced financial flexibility to invest equitably across all the communities it serves.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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