November 26, 2012 | last updated November 26, 2012 11:18 am

PUC thrice awards FairPoint embattled contract

FairPoint Communications has for a third time received an embattled state contract to upgrade Maine's emergency 911 call system.

Two other companies this year have fought two successful appeals of the $32 million contract award to FairPoint, but the state's Public Utilities Commission reaffirmed its original selection last week, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The appeals panel most recently threw out the PUC's award to FairPoint after finding that the agency did not consider whether bidders could complete the communication system upgrade in the timeline outlined in the original request for proposals.

Given the direction from that decision, which PUC Chairman Thomas Welch said was "actually quite narrow," the panel again chose the state's current 911 system contract holder and higher-bidding FairPoint.

The Colorado-based Intrado and Lewiston-based Oxford Networks put in proposals for the state contract at $27.8 million and $24.9 million respectively.

Dan Grossman, a representative of Carousel Industries of Exeter, R.I. — another of nine total companies bidding on the contract — told the paper that his company is exploring options for taking the matter beyond the PUC.

An Oxford Networks representative told the paper that the company "is committed to pursuing a fair and equitable process," but representatives for neither Oxford nor Intrado would confirm whether they would pursue another appeal.

Losing bidders have until Dec. 5 to file an appeal of the most recent decision.


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