TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Qwest Lauches New Legal Fight Against Portland

Re: Qwest Lauches New Legal Fight Against Portland

Tony P. (
Sat, 10 Sep 2005 09:43:53 -0400

In article <>, oregonian@telecom- says:

> by Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian

> The communications company sues the city, alleging the government
> system hurts competition.

> Qwest Communications International Inc. has opened a new front in its
> long-running legal battle with the city of Portland, suing to rein in
> the city's internal telecommunications system.

> Portland launched its network in 2002 to get around the rates Qwest
> and other telecom companies charge for phone lines and high-speed
> Internet connections. Portland's $14 million system links several city
> offices, and a few government agencies outside the city, to a network
> of fiber-optic cable that carries city phone calls and Internet
> traffic.

> The Integrated Regional Network Enterprise is known by its initials,
> IRNE, pronounced "Ernie." Portland says IRNE provides super-fast
> Internet connections the city couldn't otherwise afford. The city,
> however, estimates it has already spent $150,000 on legal fees
> defending the system against earlier challenges from Qwest and others.

> Qwest's latest suit, filed late last week in U.S. District Court,
> calls IRNE an illegal, government-sponsored competitor. Qwest
> complains that the city is abusing its regulatory authority by forcing
> telecom companies to connect IRNE to their networks in exchange for
> permission to use city-owned rights of way for the companies' private
> networks.

> "It provides, basically, unfair competition and makes it very, very
> difficult for the private sector to compete," said Judy Peppler,
> Qwest's Oregon president.

> Portland grants IRNE access to the Oregon Department of
> Transportation, the Port of Portland, Metro and other government
> agencies, which Peppler said robs telecom companies of large,
> lucrative customers.

Oh boo hoo. You know what,maybe if Qwest aka US Worst had provided
reasonable rates for the services the city might have gone with them.

Here in RI I know of at least one instance where Verizon and Cox got
cut out of the picture. The AG's office gets part of it's access to
court services through a fiber optic cable laid in a Narragansett
Electric duct that runs down South Main St.

Of course the file folder containing all the easement grants etc is
about two inches thick and Verizon got its say in there.

In essence we could only use it to access data between the AG's office
and the Courts.

At one point we'd proposed setting up a system where if one of our
ISP's went down (We had Verizon, they had Cox) we could let folks
connect to the others ISP via a couple of router changes.

Verizon stopped that one cold.

I do wish the phone companies would acknowledge and embrace their own
anti-competitive history. Maybe then they wouldn't be such anal
retentive jerks about things.

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