Qwest and Comcast are hurling accusations at each other over who is to blame for Comcast phone subscribers not being able to call Qwest in the Northwest region of the U.S. The Oregorian newspaper has a post on Oregon Live.com outlining the skirmish. Both companies are blaming each other for the problem, with Qwest leveling the first accusation of Comcast, claiming they deliberately prevent callers from reaching Qwest customer service lines, conceivably to prevent them from switching to Qwest. If true, that would be a new twist on how to be ‘Comcastic.’ Comcast came back with its own accusation, saying the problem is actually with Qwest and a technical glitch with their toll free numbers. Comcast went on to say, “Qwest knows that it is the cause of the call failures. Based on this, Comcast can only assume that Qwest is far less interested in addressing its operational shortcomings than it is in generating public distortions about a competitor.” Ouch!
This dust up is a sign of the times. Interconnection between competitors is a touchy subject. CLECs have said for years that incumbent telcos drag their feet to complete interconnection requests. Now cable companies are joining that argument parade. VoIP providers have had there troubles as well. Cable companies are probably wishing there was an analogous interconnection requirement for video.