Jan 5 PM: SkyWi customers still waiting on Qwest reconnections

As of late Monday afternoon EST, "most" of SkyWi's voice and a lot of its Internet services in New Mexico were still down, says the company.

SkyWi President Jack Leach told the New Mexico Business Weekly that two-thirds of the company's 5,400 voice customers were still without service. In addition, Internet circuits to Roswell (stop conspiracy theorists), Artesia and Taos are still out. Qwest still has to restore end-to-end circuits between individual customers and SkyWi's backbone connections, says Leach.  A number of public agencies and offices around the state are still without service, including police and fire departments.

After unplugging SkyWi's network on December 30 due to a billing dispute, Qwest was ordered by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to restore service "immediately." In a Jan. 2 news release, the PRC reported that Qwest was making "swift progress" to get some services up, with all services slated to be up by Jan. 7.

The Qwest/SkyWi battle started in early December, when SkyWi filed suit against Qwest over various "predatory, anti-competitive, and unfair trade practices." SkyWi was also refusing to pay bills it inherited and now disputes $1.7 million in past-due bills it owes to Qwest.

Needless to say, Qwest and SkyWi are going into court, and it sounds like SkyWi is posturing for some additional (financial) penalties due to the harm delivered in the service interruption. Leach has stated that some of his customers have left and others have been damaged.

For more:
- New Mexico Business Weekly reports the latest of the SkyWi/Qwest saga. Article.

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