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Summary:

According to the Albuquerque Business Journal, Qwest has cut off a rival local exchange carrier over a billing dispute. Qwest and SkyWi, a wireless broadband provider that pays Qwest for backhaul, have been involved in a billing dispute that resulted in Qwest cutting off service to […]

According to the Albuquerque Business Journal, Qwest has cut off a rival local exchange carrier over a billing dispute. Qwest and SkyWi, a wireless broadband provider that pays Qwest for backhaul, have been involved in a billing dispute that resulted in Qwest cutting off service to SkyWi on Dec. 30.

New Mexico’s utilities regulator ordered Qwest to turn it back on until such time that a court hearing is held, in February, and to give 10 days notice before shutting down service again. But yesterday morning, Qwest had second thoughts:

SkyWi, which is New Mexico’s largest independently owned and operated ISP, said Qwest disconnected SkyWi telecommunication services to Artesia, Santa Fe and Las Cruces on Wednesday morning, apparently in violation of a Dec. 31 order by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to not cut services.

Qwest’s high-handed attempts to disrupt its competitor and customer make a mockery of the Telecom Act of 1996, and offer more proof that the incumbents don’t operate in a competitive environment — no matter how much Qwest likes to pretend otherwise.

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By Stacey Higginbotham
  1. Seems to me that SkyWi is not a rival LEC, but a wholesale ISP customer that is delinquent on their account with Qwest. Seems reasonable to terminate if they don’t pay their bills. And note that i am not at all a fan of Qwest.

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  2. I agree completly, if I don’t pay my power, phone, cable, water etc; they get shutoff. And, there is no QUASI GOVT agency that will order those providers to turn my services back on. Especially, if I am upside down on my tab. Just one more example of someone trying to get something for nothing.

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  3. You’re assuming the bill is correct. Do you pay your bill when it’s erroneous or so convoluted that you can’t tell what you’re paying for?

    That’s the issue, among others, involved in this case. No one is trying to get something for nothing. They’re just asking for a level playing field.

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  4. Even if the bill is wrong, if you do not pay it, they will disconnect you. It’s pretty simple. Ask AT&T, Verizon, COX, Comcast, etc; All I see here is someone trying to use the David v. Goliath strategy. If it’s not correct, you should pay what you think is the true price, or go by historical data. Ex. Utility co generally bills 150/month for electricity. This time they sent you a bill for 1500. Do you not pay the bill at all, or do you pay what you know to be correct and then sort it out. Curious question, but I would err. on the side of caution and pay the 150. Atleast you paid something, and they can’t say; you didn’t pay.

    Level playing feild? Buying into someones network at less then whole sale prices is not a “level” playing field. If the field was level SkiWii would have built their own network to be truly competitive. But in Telecom, how much competition can you truly have?

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  5. [...] Qwest Cuts Off SkyWi in Network Dispute [...]

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