FairPoint denies anonymous allegations about ‘faking’ tests

first_imgConsolidated Communications,FairPoint Communications has filed a letter with the Vermont Public Service Board denying allegations made in an anonymous e-mail sent to the Board. The e-mail purportedly relates to the testing and presentations conducted by FairPoint for the Liberty Consulting Group regarding the status of the cutover systems.  The outside attorneys hired by FairPoint have interviewed all of the parties named in the e-mail plus others and have discovered no evidence to support the allegations made in the e-mail.  Despite the inherent difficulty in responding to anonymous allegations, FairPoint takes these allegations very seriously, and engaged outside attorneys to conduct an investigation, said David Hauser, CEO of FairPoint.  The outside attorneys have found no evidence to support the allegations of a fraudulent or fabricated testing process or that FairPoint misled Liberty about the testing results.  The e-mail complains that during live system presentations to Liberty, FairPoint used a series of screen shots, the computer equivalent to still photographs, to mislead Liberty s representatives into believing that they were watching a real demonstration of system capabilities. In its filing, FairPoint notes that screenshots were used appropriately for various purposes, including during live testing to replicate or simulate connections to live databases outside the FairPoint testing environment.  This was necessary, because FairPoint was not allowed, except for very controlled testing with Verizon, to test against live networks.  FairPoint states further that the attorneys investigating the e-mail allegations did not find any uses by FairPoint of screenshots to obscure or misrepresent test results to Liberty.  Rather, the use of screenshots to simulate system activity was disclosed and explained to Liberty and the Board.FairPoint s response highlights public records before the Board contradicting the allegations and conclusions made in the e-mail and explaining in detail the testing procedures employed by FairPoint and its technology partner CapGemini and the oversight of Liberty. During the time period generally referred to by the anonymous complainant, the testing process was well documented by the sworn testimony of Liberty and FairPoint and was under extensive scrutiny by Liberty and the Vermont PSB as well as the Maine and New Hampshire Public Utility Commissions. After several months delay in cutting the system over from Verizon, it switched to FairPoint February 1, 2009. The apparent whistleblower said FairPoint was not ready for the technical switch, but because it was paying Verizon to use its system it was motivated to cut over as soon as possible. He sent an email first to the clerk at the Public Service Board and then responded to emails from the Associated Press, according to published reports. Regulators from all three states have received numerous consumer complaints about FairPoint’s quality of service, email transition from Verizon, and response time from customer service. FairPoint has also had financial difficulties, having had to restructure debt and indicating in SEC filings that bankruptcy is a possibility. Revenues were down by $45 million in the first six months of 2009 compared to 2008. The company lost $17.8 million for the period on $299.6 million in revenues.About FairPointFairPoint Communications, Inc. is an industry leading provider of communications services to communities across the country. Today, FairPoint owns and operates local exchange companies in 18 states offering advanced communications with a personal touch, including local and long distance voice, data, Internet, television and broadband services. FairPoint is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols FRP and FRP.BC. Learn more at www.fairpoint.com(link is external).Source: FairPoint. CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 31, 2009). Vermont Business Magazine.last_img

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