DENVER, July 23, 2002 ? The Department of Justice (DOJ) today recommended conditionally that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approve Qwest?s application to re-enter the long-distance business in five states: Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota. The DOJ 5 state recommendation is conditioned upon the FCC ?assuring itself that Qwest is providing electronically auditable wholesale bills and manually processing wholesale orders timely and accurately.? The application was filed with the FCC on June 13.
The following response should be attributed to Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president of policy & law:
?We?re very pleased with today?s DOJ evaluation. We commend the DOJ for its hard work and for conducting a thorough and fair examination of our application. We?re proud of the fact that we are the first telecommunications company to receive such a positive recommendation from the DOJ on its first 271 application. We strongly believe we are successfully addressing with the FCC the two issues identified by the DOJ.
?The DOJ evaluation will help move our application through the process at the FCC. We are optimistic that we?ll soon be able to offer customers in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota ? and eventually throughout our local service region ? a real choice for long-distance service. Today?s positive recommendation from the DOJ moves us a major step closer to being able to do so.?
Qwest filed a second application for four more states ? Washington, Utah, Montana and Wyoming ? on July 12. The DOJ is scheduled to make its recommendation to the FCC on Qwest?s second application on August 16.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires the FCC to give the DOJ?s recommendation ?substantial weight? prior to making a final determination on Qwest?s application. The FCC must make its final determination by September 11. To date, the DOJ has issued recommendations on 23 applications filed by incumbent local exchange companies. Of those 23 applications, the DOJ has only issued nine positive recommendations.
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