FCC asked to block Qwest price hikes

5 Jun 2008

Qwest Communications International’s attempt to raise the price it charges competitors to access its network has prompted 20 chief executives from small phone and internet companies to ask the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reject Qwest’s petition for greater pricing flexibility.

The group is meeting with FCC commissioners and 25 congressional offices this week, asking for a rejection of Qwest’s petition for greater pricing flexibility in Denver, Phoenix, Minneapolis and Seattle claiming this is a move to push them out of the market and reduce competition. EarthLink CEO Rolla Huff said, ‘These will be used as precedent setters for every other market in the country. Because we are competitors, we cannot raise prices. The reality is we will just leave’.

The FCC must rule on the request at the end of July and is reviewing data on the four markets from Qwest and its competitors. At issue is whether Qwest faces enough competition in those cities to justify relieving it from pricing rules for smaller companies that use its infrastructure.