Vermont’s first experience with alternative regulation was in the telecommunications sector. Within this sector, only Fairpoint and its predecessors (including New England Telephone and Verizon) have been under alternative regulation in Vermont. In 1988, the Commission approved a form of alternative regulation known as the Vermont Telecommunications Agreement that applied to New England Telephone and lasted mid-way through the 1990s. In 2000, the Commission approved a new five-year Incentive Regulation Plan for New England Telephone. A successor alternative regulation plan was approved in 2005 that continued many of the elements of the initial plan and encouraged broadband development.
On February 15, 2008, the Commission approved the sale of Verizon's Vermont landline telecommunications business to Fairpoint Communications. (See Docket 7270 for more information about this sale.) As a condition of the sale, Fairpoint became subject to the terms and conditions of Verizon's Incentive Regulation Plan.
Since that time, FairPoint has continued to operate under alternative regulation plans. At present, FairPoint is subject to the 2015-2019 Incentive Regulation Plan, which was approved March 18, 2016. (Docket 8337) The plan runs through December 31, 2019.