CenturyLink Penalized for Rate Increases


LACEY — The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission has upheld a $226,000 penalty assessed against CenturyLink and its five subsidiaries for raising rates without informing the UTC, according to a UTC press release.

The five child companies failed to notify the commission multiple times in 2021 and 2022 and as a result were assessed a $100 penalty for each of the 2,266 instances of rate changes. The penalties were initially set on June 1, but were reviewed after CenturyLink filed a request for mitigation on June 8. The mitigation request was denied on Sept. 30. CenturyLink then filed a petition to have the citing reviewed and indicated staffing issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the departure of key staff as the reasons for the missed notifications. The petition was again denied and the penalties upheld last week.

The five CenturyLink companies associated with the penalties are Qwest Corporation, CenturyTel of Washington, Inc., CenturyTel of Inter Island, Inc., CenturyTel of Cowiche, Inc. and United Telephone Company of the Northwest. According to the UTC press release, CenturyLink is part of Lumen Technologies and is the largest local telephone company serving Washington with about 650,000 residential and business lines.