‘Strong likelihood’ Frontier will file soon for bankruptcy, per state commission

A Frontier Communications truck sits idle by the company’s abandoned Moab office. Photo by Doug McMurdo

During a conference with the Utah Public Service Commission on Jan. 22, representatives with Frontier and investigators told commissioners that a “strong likelihood exists” that Frontier Communications’s parent company “will file soon for bankruptcy,” resulting in the discovery phase of the investigation being delayed.

The commission agreed to set a new date for providing status updates on March 5. At that time, the commission has ordered Frontier to provide complete answers to questions from investigators regarding trouble reports the company received from customers in and near Castle Valley, the existence and nature of other ongoing Frontier investigations around the country and other questions about the company’s business operations in the Moab area.

As previously reported, Frontier reportedly told creditors in January that it was looking to file for bankruptcy. The timeline given then was that the filing would go through in March. With the disclosure to the Utah Public Service Commission, Frontier has now confirmed publicly that there is a strong possibility that it will file for bankruptcy.

The ongoing investigation into Frontier was prompted by reports out of the Castle Valley area that Frontier was providing unreliable phone service, complaints the company said it has since addressed.

Five public comments from local residents submitted in October to the Public Service Commission indicate anecdotally that the results may be mixed, so far. One resident reported his service issue to be fixed and that Frontier issued him a refund; another resident reported ongoing frustrations with the company.

Frontier has recently hired a new CEO, Bernie Han, and Senior Vice President of Wholesale Services, Mike Shippey, as part of “broader transformation and a commitment to upgrading talent across the organization,” said Rob Schriesheim, chairman of the finance committee of Frontier’s board of directors. The changes are part of recruitment efforts Frontier hopes will pivot the corporation in a post-bankruptcy toward a stronger financial position.