UPDATE: New Mexico PRC intervenes to assist SkyWi customers

On Thursday the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) issued a series of orders to SkyWi and telcos serving New Mexico in order to prevent disruption of services as Qwest shuts down SkyWi's network in the state because of past due bills.

The PRC ordered SkyWi to provide a full list of its customers in the state that could be affected by Qwest's actions by Mon., Feb. 16. If SkyWi refuses the order, the PRC and the Attorney General's Office say they plan to jointly petition the federal court in Albuquerque to get SkyWi to comply.

Qwest has told the PRC that it plans to pull the plug to SkyWi's lines within 10 business days because the company has failed to pay its bills for a number of months over a billing dispute. Qwest said SkyWi has racked up $2 million in past due bills. SkyWi says Qwest has been anti-competitive, but Windstream and other smaller carriers also have not been paid.

The PRC has also ordered Qwest and other phone companies to waive expedited installation fees for 60 days on behalf of SkyWi customers that want to switch (And we suspect that a lot of them would have done so without prompting from the PRC).

New Mexico carriers have also been ordered to participate in a technical pow-wow/workshop to be held in Santa Fe on Feb. 16 to help work out a solution for SkyWi customers before Qwest disconnects the SkyWi pipes on Feb. 21.  More information on the workshop is expected to be released later on Friday.

For more:
- New Mexico Business Journal with the latest. Article.

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