MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont Department of Public Service and FairPoint Communications have reached a proposed settlement over complaints about service.

As part of the deal, FairPoint will issue up to roughly 22,700 bill credits to customers who had telephone service outages over the past two years.

The department called for an investigation after receiving a high number of customer complaints including during the strike last year and after an outage prevented callers from accessing 911 services for several hours.

FairPoint also will be required to invest in the expansion of broadband Internet access to more than 28,000 Vermont customers.

The settlement must be approved by the Vermont Public Service Board.

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