SunWest Files Federal Lawsuit Against Qwest for $3 Million; Lawsuit Alleges Violations of Federal Telecommunications Act

Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from SunWest Communications

    DENVER, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Colorado Springs-based telephone company
 SunWest Communications took its ongoing battle with telecommunications mammoth
 Qwest Communications to another level today, with the filing of a lawsuit in
 Federal Court in Denver, alleging that Qwest's continued refusal to connect
 2,800 SunWest customers to the SunWest switch violates federal law.
     The federal lawsuit, filed by Scott Mikulecky of the Denver law firm of
 Dufford & Brown, alleges that Qwest's "refusal, failure and inability to
 provide the local loops to SunWest" has caused $3 million in damages to
 SunWest's business, and the damage is ongoing.  It asks the court to award
 damages suffered by SunWest.
     The lawsuit claims the 1996 Telecommunications Act specifically charges
 incumbent local exchange carriers, such as Qwest, with the duty to provide
 non-discriminatory access to any competing local exchange carrier, such as
 SunWest.
     SunWest provides telephone service in northern El Paso County, and has
 been battling Qwest since last summer over numerous service related problems
 which SunWest attributes to Qwest's poor service.  SunWest has approximately
 6,000 local telephone customers, many of whom are still connected to Qwest
 lines, because Qwest says it is unable to convert those lines to SunWest
 service.  That leaves the customers as "resale" customers, enabling Qwest to
 keep the bulk of the revenue from the SunWest customer.
     Just last week, SunWest raised its claim in an arbitration proceeding
 against Qwest to $20 million, a claim that had once started as $3 million.
 The dispute first started in January, 2000, when Qwest refused to pay its
 ongoing bill to SunWest.
     "In my opinion, Qwest continues to take active steps to sink our
 business," said Dan Potter, president of SunWest.  "It is unfair to our
 customers.  Qwest's inaction prevents us from giving the quality of service we
 desire.  Instead, these customers are stuck with Qwest for customer service."
 Potter said Qwest claims an inability to resolve the connection problems.
 
 

SOURCE SunWest Communications
    DENVER, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Colorado Springs-based telephone company
 SunWest Communications took its ongoing battle with telecommunications mammoth
 Qwest Communications to another level today, with the filing of a lawsuit in
 Federal Court in Denver, alleging that Qwest's continued refusal to connect
 2,800 SunWest customers to the SunWest switch violates federal law.
     The federal lawsuit, filed by Scott Mikulecky of the Denver law firm of
 Dufford & Brown, alleges that Qwest's "refusal, failure and inability to
 provide the local loops to SunWest" has caused $3 million in damages to
 SunWest's business, and the damage is ongoing.  It asks the court to award
 damages suffered by SunWest.
     The lawsuit claims the 1996 Telecommunications Act specifically charges
 incumbent local exchange carriers, such as Qwest, with the duty to provide
 non-discriminatory access to any competing local exchange carrier, such as
 SunWest.
     SunWest provides telephone service in northern El Paso County, and has
 been battling Qwest since last summer over numerous service related problems
 which SunWest attributes to Qwest's poor service.  SunWest has approximately
 6,000 local telephone customers, many of whom are still connected to Qwest
 lines, because Qwest says it is unable to convert those lines to SunWest
 service.  That leaves the customers as "resale" customers, enabling Qwest to
 keep the bulk of the revenue from the SunWest customer.
     Just last week, SunWest raised its claim in an arbitration proceeding
 against Qwest to $20 million, a claim that had once started as $3 million.
 The dispute first started in January, 2000, when Qwest refused to pay its
 ongoing bill to SunWest.
     "In my opinion, Qwest continues to take active steps to sink our
 business," said Dan Potter, president of SunWest.  "It is unfair to our
 customers.  Qwest's inaction prevents us from giving the quality of service we
 desire.  Instead, these customers are stuck with Qwest for customer service."
 Potter said Qwest claims an inability to resolve the connection problems.
 
 SOURCE  SunWest Communications