Qwest Asks for Freedom to Charge More

Qwest Asks for Freedom to Charge More

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- Qwest Communications has asked the Utah Public Service Commission to allow it to charge whatever it wants for phone service.

Qwest claims there is now enough competition in the telephone service industry that the Public Service Commission should lift rate regulations.

In much of the Salt Lake Valley, people can get phone service from either Qwest or from cable company Comcast of Utah

Telecommunications consultant William Dunkel says the P-S-C should not count on the cable TV company to limit price increases. He thinks it's like asking the fox to watch the henhouse.

But Qwest maintains that Utah law says the rate restrictions should stop when competition exists -- and the law doesn't specify how much competition is needed.

Some have suggested allowing Qwest to freely set rates -- but setting a maximum cap so rates don't get too high.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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