AG King urges regulators to reject Qwest bid for rate hike

Chris Rizo Dec. 10, 2009, 3:44am

Gary King (D)

SANTA FE, N.M. (Legal Newsline)- New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says Qwest Communications International Inc. should not be allowed to raise its rates, urging regulators to reject the company's request to do so.

The Democratic attorney general has asked the Public Regulation Commission to keep Qwest's basic service rate in check.

The company, the state's largest telephone-service provider, is seeking to increase its basic service fee cap to $16.50 a month, from $13.50 a month.

"Qwest's proposed rate increases hit those least able to afford them," he said in a statement this week.

He also urged the panel to order additional investment in high-speed Internet.

"If the PRC does not order additional investment in high speed Internet, rural New Mexicans will be faced with decreasing possibilities of getting access to this new technology," King said. "I urge the PRC to adopt my advocacy as the wise balance between public good and private profit."

Qwest is seeking a 22 percent rate increase and to avoid any investment obligations that would result in increased availability of high speed Internet in its rural service areas, King said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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