New Mexico PRC urges SkyWi to "do the right thing" in disconnect

New Mexico state regulators sent a letter to SkyWi CEO Alan Witters "urging" him to "do the right thing" for SkyWi customers by cooperating with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) as the company faces a network shutdown later this month.

Qwest and regulators announced this week that Qwest plans to pull the plug on telecommunication services it provides to SkyWi and its subsidiaries, ZiaNet and One Connect IP, Feb. 26, unless the service provider makes arrangements to pay its outstanding bills owed to Qwest. The phone company says it is owed more than $2 million in past due bills, and other service providers have noted that SkyWi also owes them money.

In a letter sent on Wednesday, state Public Regulation commissioners urged Witters to appear before the commission and "stop this unnecessary outage for thousands of New Mexicans." Last week, regulators ordered SkyWi to provide information on the customers that could lose voice and Internet services this month so the commission could assist them in getting switched over to other services.

SkyWi has yet to show up to a number of PRC meetings discussing its actions, much less provide any specific information on the customers that will be affected. Over the past month, the only communications that appear to have taken place between SkyWi and the New Mexico PRC are in letters and press releases.

In a letter to the PRC last week, CEO Whitters said many dial-up and DSL customers may not be affected by the pending service disconnection because they've been migrated off of Qwest.

Regardless, state regulators are talking about a criminal investigation; schools, hospitals, and police departments were previously affected in Qwest's last service shutdown conducted at the beginning of January.SkyWi apparently hasn't paid any of its service provider vendors since the middle of last year, but it has continued to bill its thousands of customers. In the fall of 2008, SkyWi filed a lawsuit against Qwest, accusing it of anti-competitive practices. So where has the money gone, other than to lawyers and PR Newswire?

For more:
- Read New Mexico PRC's "Do the right thing" letter.
- Los Cruces Sun-News article.

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