Qwest cuts off SkyWi service again

Internet service and VoIP provider SkyWi says Qwest has once again pulled the plug on a part of its broadband network in New Mexico. If true, the action will likely have ugly consequences for both companies.

SkyWi issued a press release on Jan. 28 stating that Qwest disconnected SkyWi's telecommunication services to the communities of Artesia, Santa Fe and Las Cruces, N.M., at around 8 a.m. MST.  It would be the second disruption of services SkyWi customers have experienced and a violation of an emergency order not to cut services until a court hearing issued Dec. 31 by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission .

Qwest first disconnected SkyWi lines on Dec. 30 due to a long-running billing dispute. The New Mexico PRC jumped in the next day, telling Qwest to reconnect lines and keep them connected until at least after Feb. 11 - the date of a preliminary hearing on an injunction against Qwest. The PRC also ordered Qwest to give at least 10 days notice to SkyWi of any further disconnections.

SkyWi says they've been over-billed and took Qwest to federal court in early December for anti-competitive practices and racketeering.

According to the New Mexico Business Journal, Qwest isn't commenting on the latest allegations from SkyWi. If the allegations are true, Qwest is likely to get more heat from the New Mexico PRC and may end up drawing the attention of the Federal Communications Commission. Regardless of the outcome, SkyWi says it is now "Qwest proofing" its network.

For more:
- New Mexico Business Journal article.

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