Frontier Communications at risk of losing millions in state funding following phone outage in Georgetown Co.

Updated: Nov. 25, 2019 at 7:44 PM EST
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A telephone company is at risk of losing millions of dollars in state funding after a Georgetown County community was without phone service for nearly a month.

Frontier Communications has since restored that service, but now state officials are looking to hold the company accountable.

The South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) petitioned for the Public Service Commission of South Carolina to suspend and hold the funds.

The ORS is conducting an audit to determine if Frontier Communications of the Carolinas is using the about $6.6 million in Universal Service Funds for what it's meant for.

They say every year Frontier receives this money to make sure service is available and reliable in low-income and high-cost areas.

On Monday morning, the Public Service Commission of South Carolina decided to temporarily withhold a portion of those funds until the commission can hear arguments from both sides relating to the case, according ORS manager of external communications Ron Aiken.

State officials want to make sure the company is spending the money appropriately.

The Director of Public Relations for Frontier Communications, Bob Elek, provided the following statement:

“Frontier has used the support it has received from the South Carolina Universal Service Fund for the purpose intended by law — making affordable telephone service available to our South Carolina customers. Frontier will cooperate with any audit of the Company’s use of those funds.”

The meeting where arguments will be heard has not been scheduled.

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