Fairpoint reports Internet outages

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Thousands of FairPoint Communications customers were left without Internet service Tuesday after a piece of Central Maine Power Co. equipment malfunctioned and damaged FairPoint’s high-speed data lines, officials said.

FairPoint customer service representatives received more than 100 calls Tuesday morning indicating scattered Internet outages — but no phone service interruptions — across much of Maine, said spokesman Jeff Nevins. Calls came from towns across the state, he said.

The problem was caused by an early morning fire on a utility pole directly outside the company’s state headquarters in Portland, Nevins said. Company officials expected service to be restored by 2 p.m.

“It’s widespread, but it’s sporadic,” Nevins said.

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FairPoint, based in Charlotte, N.C., has experienced operational problems since buying Verizon Communications’ land line and Internet operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in 2008. FairPoint is now going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

Friday’s outage happened after a Central Maine Power Co. piece of equipment overheated and melted before falling off a utility pole and onto FairPoint’s fiber-optic cables, CMP spokesman John Carroll said.

FairPoint didn’t have a precise number of how many customers were left without Internet service during the outage. The company has tens of thousands of Internet access lines in Maine but does not release exact figures on a state-by-state basis, Nevins said.

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