sues MCI over access fees
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, January 13, 2006
Qwest Communications has
sued MCI for allegedly failing to pay at least $10 million
of access charges related to using the Denver telco's local
network facilities to complete long-distance phone calls.
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver this week came
just days after MCI and Verizon Communications completed
their landmark merger. Qwest was the spurned suitor in that
Qwest said in the lawsuit that the calls in question began
at least by 2002 but that it didn't have the technological
capability until late 2003 to know that MCI had failed to
pay the access charges.
Qwest said in the lawsuit that it determined that the
signaling information on many calls placed by MCI customers
was altered by "someone other than Qwest" to make it appear
that the calls were local rather than long distance. Those
calls were delivered improperly to Qwest facilities designed
to carry local phone traffic to their destination.
The calls occurred throughout Qwest's 14-state local phone
region, the company said.
Verizon Business spokeswoman Carolyn Tyler said the lawsuit
filed by Qwest is "completely devoid of specific factual
allegations and therefore impossible to formulate a
substantive response. To the extent any allegation can be
inferred from the complaint, it appears that this is a
routine tariff disagreement between the parties that has
been the subject of prior negotiations but did not lead to a
Qwest spokesman Robert Toevs said the company doesn't
comment on pending litigation.