PHOENIX, August 9, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband communications company, today called AT&T?s attempts to halt Qwest?s progress toward re-entering the Arizona long-distance market a useless, desperate attack on a collaborative and open process that has been moving forward for two years.
?This motion to delay the testing process is an attempt to slow our re-entry into the Arizona long-distance market,? said Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president of policy & law. ?AT&T is getting desperate because it knows we?re getting close to offering Arizonans a real choice for long-distance service.?
Qwest denied AT&T?s claim that there are problems with the test, and defended the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) and Cap Gemini?s design and oversight of the process. The tests in Arizona ? which are the result of nearly two years of planning among regulators, competitors, including AT&T, and Qwest ? are among the most thorough and robust in the industry.
Qwest is also participating in Operational Support System testing in 13 other states ? a cooperative process run by the Regional Oversight Committee of state regulators. Nationally, many states have established their own testing processes and the Federal Communications Commission has not determined that one testing procedure is superior to another. Qwest is confident that both tests it is participating in ? regardless of differing time frames and procedures ? are rigorous and will prove conclusively that its systems are open to competitors.
?This attack on the ACC and Cap Gemini is totally unwarranted,? said Teresa Wahlert, Qwest regional vice president of policy & law. ?Despite AT&T?s ranting, the test has proceeded according to the design that was established in working sessions with AT&T and all of the other participants. AT&T?s complaints about faulty test reports and regulators not doing their jobs do a disservice to the thousands of hours of effort put in by policymakers, Qwest and the competitors who are really interested in bringing competition to Arizona.?
Wahlert also pointed out that AT&T?s press release seemed to contradict testimony of one its chief witnesses earlier this week regarding the collaborative nature of the planning and execution of the Arizona test. John Finnegan, AT&T?s senior policy witness, stated on the record before the ACC this week that, ?It?s true that the CLECs (competitive local exchange carriers) have probably had more involvement in the same aspects of the test than they have in any other jurisdiction.?
Qwest is encouraging the ACC to dismiss this claim and let real competition bring hundreds of millions of dollars in savings to Arizonans.
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