Qwest -- which was one of the country's largest long distance
providers when it acquired the former Baby Bell U-S West two years
-- had to give up that portion of its business.
Today's decision means Qwest can begin selling long distance
service in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota,
Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Qwest is still vying for federal approval in five other states
in the 14 states it is the local phone service provider.
F-C-C regulations call for Qwest to first open its network to
other companies that want to provide local service before being
allowed back into the long distance market.