Frontier to declare bankruptcy in March

It hit the national news Jan. 16. Frontier Communications Corp., which operates in 29 states including California, and locally in Plumas County, is expected to file for bankruptcy in March.

According to Bloomberg Technology, Frontier executives met with creditors in a private meeting to “negotiate a pre-packaged agreement before $356 million of debt payments come due March 15.”

Javier Mendoza, Vice President of Corporate Communications and External Affairs issued the following statement, “Frontier’s business and operations are solid and serving our customers remains our top priority. As we have said publicly, Frontier is evaluating its capital structure with an eye to reducing debt and interest expense so as to be able to better serve our customers. Our customers should expect no changes as we remain focused on providing quality communications services.”

Pre-packaged negotiations are often a signal of a company going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy — meaning the company can continue to operate without disruption of their services to customers.

That announcement has alarmed District 2 Supervisor Kevin Goss, who has experienced first hand the issues that all Indian Valley residents have experienced: Paying for high speeds and experiencing low speeds in return.

Intermittently, Frontiers broadband service just doesn’t work for a few hours at a time. This is exceptionally troublesome during business hours when local businesses that rely on the internet are stuck trying to navigate that world on their phones.

Requests for service from newcomers to Indian Valley have not received service as the last “slot” for service was hooked up in 2018 without plans for expansion.

Goss said that for now we are in a “wait and see” mode of operation, waiting to see what March 15 brings.

Frontier Communications Corp. has not released statements yet concerning either the bankruptcy or plans for operation going forward.

Will they sell off their operation here? Goss thinks we need to be prepared for whatever is coming our way.

“We are already having discussions about what it would look like without Frontier. Maybe broadband service and landlines become another public utility. Maybe another company like AT&T comes in and carries the service,” Goss said.

For his part, he’d like to see fiber optic cables connect the areas lacking service between Susanville Rancheria and Feather River College. He wants to see uninterrupted and faster service customers are already paying for.

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