Qwest Communications International announced Thursday that it filed for permission with the Federal Communications Commission to offer long-distance phone service in five of the 14 states where it already provides local service. The telecom carrier is seeking regulatory approval to offer service in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota, and will file for permission in the nine other states in its territory during the summer and fall. Qwest expects the FCC to OK the company's first federal application for long-distance service within 90 days.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires incumbent phone companies, or Baby Bells, to show that they have opened their local networks to competitors in exchange for the authority to offer long-distance service. Qwest is the only Baby Bell that has not received long-distance approval in its territory.