The proposed merger between Verizon and FairPoint Communications, a relatively small company based in Charlotte, N.C., is bad for business.

FairPoint is a tiny company with little experience in statewide telecom operations, and they are already burdened with enormous corporate debt. Allowing this deal to go through would increase that burden by more than $1.7 billion, leaving the company with neither the means nor the incentive to maintain Maine’s communications infrastructure unless it imposed a significant rate increase. Even then, there’s no guarantee that the company won’t just pocket the money, which historically, is exactly what it has done.

Without a strong and reliable communications infrastructure, Maine cannot compete successfully in the global market. The two companies need to guarantee that this merger will do no harm.

Absent that, this deal must be blocked.

Susan Goddard, Lewiston

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