AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – FairPoint Communications is preparing to go before regulators as it seeks to be relieved of more than $845,000 in penalties. Meanwhile, it’s weighing a response to a request for the hiring of an outside consultant to review the telecom’s back-office systems.

Maine’s public advocate called for the hiring of an outside expert to scrutinize FairPoint’s computer systems. North Carolina-based FairPoint already has a consultant to help integrate its systems.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission has scheduled a hearing Tuesday to discuss FairPoint’s request for a waiver of fines imposed for poor wholesale service. They’re part of nearly $3 million that FairPoint estimates it owes to local phone competitors across northern New England for poor network service from February through April.

New Hampshire regulators have scheduled a meeting Tuesday to review FairPoint’s operating problems.

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