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News Release
Final Draft Report Issued for Qwest Long Distance Entry
 
April 22, 2002 (2002 - 010)
 
Contacts:  Roy Hemmingway, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Lee Beyer, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
 
Salem, OR –A 13-state test of Qwest’s operational support systems (OSS), conducted by the Regional Oversight Committee for Qwest (ROC), has reached a major milestone with the completion last week of most planned testing activities and publication of a draft report.
 
Operation Support Systems are the methods, procedures, and systems that support the daily operations of Qwest's telephone infrastructure. Access to Qwest's OSS will provide new entrants or competitors the ability to order service for their new customers and to communicate with Qwest on basic activities such as providing repair and maintenance service for customers. Access to Qwest's OSS by competitors is essential to satisfy several items on the 14-point competitive checklist, required by the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, before Qwest can be allowed to provide in-region long distance.
 
"The OSS product is the result of unprecedented cooperation among Qwest states. Oregon could never have carried off such a complex project on its own," Commissioner Joan Smith said. "We now enter the final stages of deciding whether Qwest has sufficiently opened its network to competition and whether we can recommend to the FCC that Qwest be able to enter into full head-to-head competition with all other carriers including in-state long distance."
 
The Oregon Public Utility Commission expects to issue its recommendation to the Federal Communications Commission this summer.
 
KPMG Consulting and Hewlett Packard Consulting, the consultants hired by the ROC states to conduct the OSS test, issued a draft of their joint final report on April 19. The vendors expect to issue a combined final report on May 28, after completing one re-test that is in process, considering comments on the draft report, and holding a technical conference in Denver May 14-16 to further discuss the test results.
 
With the publication of the draft final report on April 19 and the pending completion of the limited re-test, the states now anticipate a final report by the end of May. Oregon and other state commissions will use the report to assess the sufficiency of Qwest’s OSS for use by local phone service competitors.
 
In addition to the 13-state OSS collaborative, a group of 7 states worked together on "competitive checklist" compliance, and 9 states worked together on a post-entry performance plan, to ensure that Qwest’s network remains open to local competition once it is granted to enter the long distance business. The reports from these workshops were submitted to the participating states last year, and the participating states have either completed or are nearing completion of their action on these reports.
 
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