pricing gets OK
Arizona regulators approve rates plan
By Ken Alltucker
The Arizona Republic
Friday, March 17, 2006
State regulators on Thursday approved a plan that will allow
Qwest Communications to collect an additional $31.8 million
over the next year by raising prices on some residential and
The deregulation plan approved by the Arizona Corporation
Commission also eliminates a requirement that Qwest notify
the state 30 days in advance of rolling out special
The Denver-based company has pushed the deregulation plan in
Arizona and elsewhere so it can shore up its business
against cable, wireless, Internet-based and other
Qwest, once a monopoly telephone company, has seen its
number of access lines in Arizona drop from 3.3 million in
2000 to 2.3 million in December 2005.
"We're very pleased with the plan," Qwest spokesman Jeff
Mirasola said. "It gives us the flexibility in pricing
packages. We can also institute promotions without having
to telegraph them to our competitors."
The plan splits Qwest's services into several categories and
prices them accordingly. Qwest would not be able to raise
rates for basic phone lines and other services that
customers cannot get from any other company.
It could increase rates up to 25 percent on non-essential
services such as caller ID, number forwarding and other
Qwest could freely price services such as toll-free calling
and voice mail that can be bought from other companies.
In some cases, Qwest would be required to reduce rates. The
company must reduce $12 million in annual fees it charges
other carriers to use its lines and wires.
Under Commissioner Bill Mundell's amendment, customers will
see the monthly charge for a non-published telephone number
drop from $1.65 to 90 cents. Also, the price of a
non-listed telephone number, a number not published in a
telephone directory but still publicly available through
operator assistance, will drop from $1.30 to 55 cents per
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