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Qwest Pushes for Franchise in Colorado

8/07/2007 10:10 AM Eastern

Qwest Communications International invoked the Federal Communications Commissions’ so-called “shot clock,” which will compel the city of Arvada, Colo., to negotiate a franchise agreement within 90 days or the telephone company will automatically be granted authority to enter the community.

Clark Johnson, assistant to the city manager of Arvada, said the city was served with documentation Aug. 6. Johnson said the city has had informal talks with Qwest for one year. He said he hesitated to call the sessions “negotiations,” which he defined as regularly scheduled talks.

City officials informed Qwest representative at those meetings of municipal expectations, especially the desire by local regulators that Qwest build any cable system in more than one or two neighborhoods, Johnson said. System build-out terms by new providers have been an issue by regulators from state legislatures down to municipal officials. Johnson said Arvada is not demanding a full municipal build-out.

“We offered options” on plant placement and service areas, he said, adding, “They clearly disagree.”

Carolyn Tyler, Qwest regional media contact, said the company filed its application under the FCC 90-day rules because, “Qwest looks forward to serving customers as soon as possible.”

 Ironically, the mayor of Arvada, attorney Ken Fellman, is very active in the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, one of the governmental trade groups challenging the FCC 90-day policy, seeking to have it overturned in federal court.

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