The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to rule by July 26 on Qwest Communications' petitions for forbearance from wholesale rate regulation in Denver, Phoenix, Seattle and Minneapolis. However, the opposition to its requests continues to mount, especially in Colorado and Arizona. The Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel disputed Qwest's claim that granting the telco forbearance would help control potential rate increases. The agency pointed out that Qwest has raised rates on some services in the last several months.
In Arizona, Qwest competitor Integra Telecom submitted a document to the FCC showing how Qwest increased rates in Omaha, Neb., after gaining forbearance in that market, and further forecasting how Qwest will continue to raise rates. Qwest has noted that even in competitive markets, rates will increase along the lines of inflation and other factors.