ffejie writes "Verizon has announced that it will be spinning off rural assets to FairPoint Communications. These include all assets in the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The deal will close sometime in 2007 and is worth $2.7 billion. 1.6 million phone lines, 234,000 DSL subscribers, and 600,000 long-distance customers will be moved to FairPoint in Verizon's effort to shed its low-margin lines in rural areas. The sale has been rumored since the summer at least. With Verizon aggressively rolling out high-speed FiOS (FTTP) in its service area, what will happen to the consumers stuck with a smaller telco like those moving to FairPoint?"