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New Release
 
Comment By Commissioner Joan Smith:
 
The tone of this press release misrepresents the June 9, 2000, quarterly meeting. The fact is that U S WEST has made substantial improvements in service quality in the past year.
 
Blockage still causes problems, but is more concentrated in the high Internet-use hours, instead of all day. Appropriate fines will be levied for those violations at the end of the year. Four new switches have been installed on schedule. Nine more will come online by the end of the year. Those switches will solve most of the blockage problems.
 
U S WEST’s history of quality problems has plagued the Commission and Oregon customers for the past five years. Up through 1994, however, the company met our standards. In late 1995, company restructuring caused a sharp decline. It is difficult to compare the company’s service today with 1991, as the release does. The Internet, growth, exchange sales and today’s network itself make such comparisons meaningless.
 
I expect continued improvement. I am happy that the Public Utility Commission has the tools to assure customers that will happen. I am pleased that U S WEST is well on its way to being the kind of company it should be.
 
 
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