PORTLAND, Maine — FairPoint Communications closed 2015 a leaner company, cutting operating expenses to return its first full year of profits since emerging from bankruptcy four years earlier and from the longest labor strike in the country last year.

The North Carolina-based telecommunications company posted $90.4 million in net income for 2015 despite falling revenues.

The company got to profitability by trimming its operating costs last year and with an increasing focus on high-capacity broadband Internet subscribers and providing fiber-optic connections to cell towers.

As the company focuses on those areas and continues to grow, changing regulations around landline service also play a part in the company’s future.

FairPoint has urged lawmakers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to lighten or remove requirements for mandatory landline service in certain parts of the state, and to adjust certain service quality standards for landline service.

The company had a bill before the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee this week that would eliminate 25 communities from the regulated “provider of last resort” telephone service and lessen service quality requirements in Maine, which the company says will put it on even footing in those areas with competitive telecom providers that face no regulatory requirements.

“We believe ongoing regulatory reforms in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont will serve to promote fair competition among communications services providers in that region,” the company said in its latest quarterly earnings report.

About 83 percent of the company’s landline customers are in those three states.

The company also made cuts last year after the conclusion of the 131-day strike, with 334 fewer employees on Dec. 31, 2015, compared with one year earlier. A major part of the labor negotiations reduced the company’s pension debt going forward.

It said in earnings statements Wednesday that its post-employment benefit obligations stood at $100 million on Dec. 31, 2015, compared with $741 million one year earlier.

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.