Public comment sought on proposed Frontier sale

Wave Division Capital to buy company’s
Washington operations for $1.4 billion

Frontier Communications customers may submit comments to state regulators on the proposed sale of the company.

The company announced in May 2019 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its operations and all associated assets in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana to WaveDivision Capital LLC, in partnership with Searchlight Capital Partners LLC, for $1.4 billion in cash subject to certain closing adjustments.

In June, Northwest Fiber LLC, Frontier Communications Corp. and Frontier Communications ILEC Holdings LLC filed a request to transfer of control of Frontier Communications Northwest from Frontier ILEC Holdings to Northwest Fiber with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.

In December, commission staff and the parties reached a proposed settlement that included spending at least $50 million in Washington to increase broadband coverage; committing to support the statewide transition to Next Generation 911; and reporting on financial and service quality measures.

The three-member commission, which is not bound by the settlement, will make a final decision to approve, reject, or modify the merger agreement by March 2020.

Northwest Fiber LLC previously operated Wave Broadband, providing internet, video, and phone services on the West Coast, serving customers in more than 70 communities in Washington state. The new company is headquartered in Kirkland.

Frontier is one of the largest local telephone companies in Washington, serving about 150,000 residential and business lines across the state.

How to comment

A public comment hearing on the proposed sale before the WUTC is set for 10 a.m. Jan. 27 at the commission’s headquarters in Lacey.

Customers who wish to participate by phone may contact the commission’s records center by phone at 360-664-1234 or via email at records@utc.wa.gov for more information.

Customers also can submit comments about the proposed sale online at utc.wa.gov/comments; by writing to P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA, 98504; emailing comments@utc.wa.gov; or calling toll-free 1-888-333-9882.

The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.

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