AT&T has filed a motion with the Arizona Corporate Commission, the state's utility regulator, asking that the state stop and re-evaluate testing of Qwest software that would allow other phone companies to compete with Qwest in the local phone market. The testing is part of a regulatory procedure established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that requires Qwest and other so-called baby Bells like Verizon and SBC Communications to open their local networks to competitors before they can compete in the long-distance phone market. AT&T hopes to compete with Qwest in the local markets, a representative said.
Tom Pelto, AT&T's vice president of law and government affairs for the western region, says consulting firm KPMG tested the same Qwest software in 13 other states and uncovered major problems. These findings have caused AT&T to conclude that the tests in Arizona, which are being done by consulting firm Cap Gemini and have not revealed the same glitches, are unreliable. Chuck Ward, Qwest's regional vice president of law and policy, calls the AT&T motion unwarranted and groundless, and adds that AT&T had the opportunity to provide input for how each state test was conducted.