Yes, FRP does still hold a monolopy in Northern New England. FRP controls the WILLY WACK sections of the 3 states. High poverty, sparse population, thin-markets(i.e. no industry or commercial customers), low levels of investment, out-migration, and cable runs too long to provide a twisted pair broadband connection. No competion will ever service these areas, there is a lot of areas that can't even get CATV because it doesn't exist. Most of the lucrative city and surburban areas have taken over by the competition who are recieptents of the Universal Service Fund. President Roosevelt had telephone delivered to rural America using the same model of the Rural Electrification Administration, which benifits through subsidzation by taking money from the high population areas. That money has all but dried up. The same problems exist today that existed in the 1940's. This is FRP's prime market now and the only way out is wireless which FRP doesn't offer.
The(CLECS)Competitive Local Exchange Carriers existance depends on a functioning (ILEC). Without a ILEC there is no way to connect anybody to a switching office (C.O.). CLEC'S lease cage space in C.O.'s from ILEC's for their own switching gear but depend on ILEC's for the cable, drop wire, NID, and interconnecting different C.O.'s to connect their customers. The ILEC (FRP) ownes all the switching stations and controls all traffic including wireless traffic, here is the only value. Without a functioning ILEC nothing would work. The 3-Ring binder project that is under way in Maine will allow the CLEC's to interconnect their switches without depending on FRP. FRP will become just a landlord. They were brought out of bankruptcy as a functioning company because no other phone company in their right mind would touch this mess with a 10 foot pole after the failure of the "State of the Art Systems". There are no functioning systems in this company, EVERYTHING is a manual work around. Their goal now is to secure all the local and state government buildings that the 3-ring binder is threatening to claim before they can finish their project. Gene Johnson knew that he was in way over his head and he left with sparks comming off his heals. 3 CEO's, 2 CFO's, and 3 Heads of labor in less than 3 years ! Incompetence at it's best!!!
The competition has the competitive advantage in VOIP, wireless, and landline. FRP is an ILEC, they must guarantee service to the NID (Network Interface Device.) FRP ownes the infastructure and maintenance burden no matter how many customers are left. Maintenance cost are based on a per line formula. Example: A 1200 pair cable is cut by an excavator but there is only 200 working circuits, all 1200 pr still need to be repaired. 10,000 customers leave the infastructure every month but the maintenance remains constant. Now lets consider the age of this copper plant, there is pulp conductors (lead sleaved) in use everywhere. It has been hit so many times over the last 70 years that it no longer holds air pressure. Every time it rains the cable croaks when the manholes fill with water and the paper gets wet. FRP must deal with the cost of this EVERY time it rains heavy. The competion (CLEC)keeps calling in the troubles and FRP keeps paying "LIQUID OVERTIME" and can't recoup any of the cost. The poles and infusture are no longer an asset, it is now a liability. FRP's solution is to close out as many trouble tickets as it can through the dispatch center without dispatching a technician and hope that the sun will shine tomorrow and the trouble will dry out. This has caused massive landline loss but has saved regulated PUC fines. The competitions cost is fixed and their connection to the Central Office must be guaranteed by FRP who's cost per line continue to skyrocket as more customers leave for wireless and Cable services.
Verizon hosed both the state regulators and FairPoint. For at least twenty years Verizon (aka, Bell Atlantic and New England Telephone) charged rate payers for capital plant maintenance and upgrades without ever actually doing the work. They took that money and invested it elsewhere. FairPoint did a poor job of due diligence. They paid for a modern capital plant, but got a collapsing bucket of rust.