SunWest Files PUC Complaint Against Qwest

Former PUC Commissioner to Testify at PUC Hearing Against

Qwest's Entry Into LD Service



Apr 13, 2001, 01:00 ET from SunWest Communications

    DENVER, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Colorado Springs-based telephone company
 SunWest Communications today fired another volley in its legal battle with
 communications mammoth, Qwest International, and gained a new ally.
     The company filed a complaint with the Colorado Public Utilities
 Commission (PUC) to enforce Qwest's agreement to compensate SunWest for delays
 in providing service to SunWest's customers.  Also, former PUC commissioner
 Vincent Majkowski has agreed to testify against Qwest at the PUC hearing.
 This hearing is intended to determine if Qwest has met the requirements to
 enter into the long distance market.  A study by American Securities has
 projected that if only 30% of Qwest's current customers sign up for long
 distance, Qwest's annual revenue from long distance services in Colorado will
 be over $266 million dollars.
     Majkowski supports SunWest's claims that Qwest's delays, incompetence and
 negligence in correcting network switching problems have caused SunWest to
 lose customers and damaged its reputation. "Qwest has caused immeasurable harm
 to SunWest's business," said Majkowski,  "And has violated the Colorado
 Legislature's desires to open the local telecommunication market for
 competition as well as the intent of the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act,
 which is to promote competition."
     The complaint before the PUC asks for relief in the form of payment for
 revenue SunWest lost due to Qwest's failure to provide adequate switching
 services in a timely manner.
     Earlier this month, SunWest filed 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 suit 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.
     On March 30, 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 continue paying its
 ongoing bill to SunWest.
     SunWest provides telephone service in northern El Paso County, and has
 been battling Qwest since last summer over numerous service related problems
 that SunWest attributes to Qwest's poor service.  SunWest has approximately
 6,000 local telephone customers, 2800 of whom are still connected to Qwest
 facilities, because Qwest says it is unable to convert those lines to SunWest
 facilities.  That leaves the customers as "resale" customers, enabling Qwest
 to keep the bulk of the revenue from the SunWest customer.
 
 

SOURCE SunWest Communications
    DENVER, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Colorado Springs-based telephone company
 SunWest Communications today fired another volley in its legal battle with
 communications mammoth, Qwest International, and gained a new ally.
     The company filed a complaint with the Colorado Public Utilities
 Commission (PUC) to enforce Qwest's agreement to compensate SunWest for delays
 in providing service to SunWest's customers.  Also, former PUC commissioner
 Vincent Majkowski has agreed to testify against Qwest at the PUC hearing.
 This hearing is intended to determine if Qwest has met the requirements to
 enter into the long distance market.  A study by American Securities has
 projected that if only 30% of Qwest's current customers sign up for long
 distance, Qwest's annual revenue from long distance services in Colorado will
 be over $266 million dollars.
     Majkowski supports SunWest's claims that Qwest's delays, incompetence and
 negligence in correcting network switching problems have caused SunWest to
 lose customers and damaged its reputation. "Qwest has caused immeasurable harm
 to SunWest's business," said Majkowski,  "And has violated the Colorado
 Legislature's desires to open the local telecommunication market for
 competition as well as the intent of the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act,
 which is to promote competition."
     The complaint before the PUC asks for relief in the form of payment for
 revenue SunWest lost due to Qwest's failure to provide adequate switching
 services in a timely manner.
     Earlier this month, SunWest filed 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 suit 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.
     On March 30, 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 continue paying its
 ongoing bill to SunWest.
     SunWest provides telephone service in northern El Paso County, and has
 been battling Qwest since last summer over numerous service related problems
 that SunWest attributes to Qwest's poor service.  SunWest has approximately
 6,000 local telephone customers, 2800 of whom are still connected to Qwest
 facilities, because Qwest says it is unable to convert those lines to SunWest
 facilities.  That leaves the customers as "resale" customers, enabling Qwest
 to keep the bulk of the revenue from the SunWest customer.
 
 SOURCE  SunWest Communications