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Court Backs Nebraska in Rate Dispute With Qwest

Federal appeals panel upholds ruling in Nebraska's favor in Qwest rate dispute case

LINCOLN, Neb. December 29, 2009 (AP)

The Associated Press

A federal appeals panel has upheld a ruling favoring the Nebraska Public Service Commission in a telecommunications rate dispute with Qwest Communications International Inc.

At issue are the rates set by the Nebraska commission for rival companies that use parts of Qwest's network. The Denver-based company argued in a 2007 lawsuit that the commission's methodology for setting those rates isn't consistent with federal guidance and discourages competition. It also argued that there isn't a reliable way to carry out an order distinguishing "in-town" from "out-of-town" customers.

The three-judge panel of 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected claims that the methodology was flawed. It sent the case back to a district court for Qwest and the commission to agree to a way to set boundaries.