Qwest President Chuck Wards letter to the editor (Herald, Dec. 19) contained some glaring errors.
His first assertion was that the occasion for the Public Utilities Commission hearings last week was not to talk about whether Qwest provides reliable service to customers in Silverton. Actually, thats entirely what the hearing was about. The only question that can be argued at this level of litigation and the basis of the hearing was uniform, reliable service.
Local merchants have complained about the quality of service provided by Qwest. We live in a nanosecond telecommunications society where a shopkeeper swipes a credit card and a string of 1s and 0s go through a series of telecommunications devices to charge a customers account for a purchase. Several merchants testified that during busy times of the day, credit card processing errors result in delays and dropped calls, which then need to be reprocessed.
Qwest provided an expert witness who testified that Silverton has excess capacity based on his analysis of phone calls in November when nearly half of Silvertons population is out of town. The expert had access to information for the entire year including July, when as many as 25,000 people are in town for the Fourth of July celebration but he chose to focus on phone calls in November.
Qwests assertion regarding its interest in additional businesses and customers who could benefit from better service also seems less than honest. One witness testified he had contacted Qwest in regard to obtaining a particular service so he could locate a data storage center in Silverton. According to his testimony, weeks have passed and Qwest has never responded to his request for information.
If you think the ability to process credit cards in a reliable manner is important, consider the importance of having reliable, redundant 911 service for a county that has thousands of visitors throughout the summer but has its capacity evaluated by Qwest based on how many phone calls there are in November.
If Qwest had installed fiber optic several years ago, we wouldnt still be talking about these problems.
Greg Swanson, Silverton