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Updated: PUC: Windstream to pay $15,000 penalty in settlement

By , - Last modified: June 7, 2012 at 12:18 PM

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission said today that Windstream Pennsylvania, a subsidiary of Arkansas-based telecommunications company Windstream Corp., will pay a $15,000 civil penalty stemming from an investigation into its billing practices.

The PUC said it found Windstream Pennsylvania had a "no proration" policy in its billing, essentially charging customers for a full cycle of service when they discontinued or changed service providers. The PUC's Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement alleged these practices were in violation of state and federal regulations.

"Windstream believes its non-proration policy complied with Pennsylvania law and Public Utility Commission regulations. However, Windstream has agreed to the proposed settlement in order to resolve the matter in an amicable, efficient and economic manner," Windstream spokesman Scott Morris said in an email.

The company will pay the penalty, discontinue full-month billing and implement prorated billing in Pennsylvania, according to the PUC. As part of the settlement, the company does not admit any wrongdoing. Interested parties have 20 days to comment on the settlement.

Windstream has a significant presence in Central Pennsylvania. The company acquired the former Ephrata-based D&E Communications Inc. in 2009 for $333 million. The company recently announced a plan to cut 400 management positions companywide and save $30 million as part of streamlining after its numerous acquisitions over the years.

Windstream trades its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol WIN.

Editor's Note: This item was modified from its previous version to add comments from Windstream's spokesman.

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