FairPoint Communications has pushed back the takeover of former Verizon operations in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont by 60 days, to the end of January.

The "cutover" was originally slated for this month, but it was then delayed a first time to the end of November.

FairPoint said the latest decision was made after consulting with Liberty Consulting Group, the Public Utilities Commissions in New Hampshire and Maine, the Department of Public Service in Vermont, and Verizon.

Transferring Verizon’s systems to new lines, switches and other equipment is important to FairPoint’s success after its March 31 purchase of Verizon’s landline operations in New England. With the $2.3 billion deal, FairPoint became the country’s eighth-largest telephone company.

The deal included 1.6 million phone customers and 230,000 high-speed Internet customers.

“While system testing is nearly complete, the additional time will allow us to complete further enhancements, fully execute our staffing and training plans, and finalize all necessary documentation and procedures,” said Gene Johnson, CEO of Charlotte, N.C.-based FairPoint.

FairPoint said it expects minimal financial impact from the latest delay.

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