FCC Chairman Ajit Pai talking while standing in front of an FCC seal.

Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on December 14, 2017, in Washington DC, the day of the FCC’s vote to repeal net neutrality rules. (credit: Getty Images | Alex Wong )

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has rejected a request to have the FCC investigate Frontier Communications’ business practices in Minnesota, despite evidence that the company has failed to properly maintain its telecom network.

An investigation by the Minnesota Commerce Department already found that Frontier’s network has “frequent and lengthy” phone and Internet outages, that Frontier has failed to provide refunds or bill credits to customers even when outages lasted for months, that Frontier is guilty of frequent billing errors that caused customers to pay for services they didn’t order, and that it has failed to promptly provide telephone service to all customers who request it. When we wrote about the investigation in January, Frontier said it “strongly disagrees” with the findings but did not dispute any of the specific allegations.

The Minnesota Attorney General’s office is investigating whether Frontier violated state consumer-protection laws, and the state’s two US senators asked Pai to have the FCC investigate as well. When Pai wrote back to the senators, he said that he has asked his staff to “monitor” the state investigation but made no commitment to have the FCC investigate, too. Pai’s response and the senators’ letter were posted on the FCC’s website this week.

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