Qwest feels outmatched when it comes to competing with smaller, unregulated companies that use Qwest's own equipment to deliver competing phone services.
Since January 2007, Qwest has been trying to offer some months of free service to former customers who drop a competitor's service and return "home" to Qwest. Independent carrier Cyber Mesa has - so far - successfully blocked the promotion in New Mexico by forcing the state Public Regulation Commission to consider whether the rates are legal. The PRC is expected to rule next month.
For over a decade, (since the 1996 Telecommunications Act, to be precise) incumbent carriers have been required to negotiate deals with independents to provide facilities to deliver competing phone services to customers. In recent filings with the New Mexico PRC, Qwest describes companies like Cyber Mesa as a serious threat. Qwest has lost landline at a rate of more than 35,000 per month and estimates that it has lost over 88,000 access lines in New Mexico from the time it tried to start its free service promo offering in January 2007.
If Qwest doesn't get the change, the company says the erosion of its business will harm shareholders (Hmm, more than they already have?), cost employees their jobs and, most ominously, reduce Qwest's ability to invest in New Mexico.
- Albuquerque Journal reports on Qwest complaint. Article.
Qwest CFO reassures investors - FierceTelecom
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