Qwest Communications received good news on Monday from the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear an Iowa carrier’s appeal of two lower court rulings that concern a protracted billing dispute with Qwest. Those rulings focused on whether certain wireless calls at the heart of the case are interstate calls that fall under the FCC’s long distance rate regime or intrastate calls that are subject to state mandated rates. The case at hand pits Qwest against Iowa Network Services, Inc. (INS), which claims that Qwest owes it money for the routing of wireless phone traffic, via the INS network, to local phone companies in Iowa. Although third-party wireless operators originated the calls, INS looked to Qwest for payment, claiming that it was impossible for INS to determine which carriers were responsible for the calls. INS also attempted to subject Qwest to FCCmandated long-distance rates, which are substantially higher than local calling rates adopted on the state level. At the behest of Qwest, the Iowa Utilities Board decreed in 2000 that Qwest could not be held liable for the FCC rates billed by INS, as the board determined that the calls in question were local rather than long distance. INS then challenged the utilities board decision before a U.S. district court and before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Both courts, however, sided with Qwest and the utilities board, declaring that FCC-mandated rates are not applicable to local traffic. The Supreme Court’s rejection of INS’s appeal leaves those rulings in place, thus allowing Qwest to save millions of dollars it would otherwise have owed to INS.