Verizon offloads fixed line assets to Frontier

US operator Verizon said Wednesday that it has struck a deal to offload its fixed line operations serving rural areas to local rival Frontier Communications.

Frontier will pay $5.3bn in common stock and $3.3bn in cash and debt securities for the assets, leaving Verizon free to focus on wireless, fibre (FiOS) and global IP-based networks.

The operations Frontier will acquire include all of Verizon’s local wireline units in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Under the deal, approximately 11,000 Verizon employees will be transferred to Frontier.

At the end of 2008, the Verizon operations in question served approximately 4.8 million local access lines; 2.2 million long distance customers; and 1 million high speed data customers, including 110,000 FiOS internet users and 69,000 FiOS TV subscribers.

Frontier currently has 2.3 million access lines across 24 states, providing local and long distance voice, broadband data, and video.

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