ST. PAUL (AP) -- The state Public Utilities Commission has given Qwest Communications a week to negotiate a settlement with the Minnesota attorney general's office to resolve complaints of its high-speed DSL Internet customers.
Qwest's DSL problems began last fall after the company announced that it was leaving the consumer DSL Internet access business and shifting its customers to MSN. Some customers said they were switched without their permission, were repeatedly double-billed, had service interruptions and were unable to get the service canceled.
The PUC also refused to grant Qwest a three-week delay in a separate complaint involving accusations by the Minnesota Department of Commerce that Qwest violated state and federal laws by using secret agreements to restrict competition in the local telephone market.
The Commerce Department is seeking civil penalties for Qwest that could range from $50 million to $200 million.
Qwest officials are to appear at a PUC hearing in early March to oppose a Commerce Department request that the PUC make public the agreements.
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