The state Public Service Commission on Wednesday ordered Qwest Corp. to turn over information to justify its telephone rates in Montana. The order, which also notes state law offers Qwest the option of proposing another form of regulation, comes in a long-running case over whether Qwest exceeded the profit level set by the PSC in 1992. "We need to get the information on an ongoing basis that indicates that the rates either are just and reasonable or there's some basis for changing them," Commission Chairman Greg Jergeson said Wednesday. The PSC questioned Qwest's earnings in Montana and in 2003 sought financial information to justify its rates. In June 2003, the company said it would go to court to see if it had to turn over such information to regulators. A District Court ruled in Qwest's favor in October 2004. The PSC appealed to the state Supreme Court, which ruled in the commission's favor in December 2007. The PSC said Qwest's annual reports show rates of return from 13.67 percent to 21.69 percent from 2002-2006 above the 10. 44 percent approved by the PSC. The PSC order gives Qwest until July 1 to turn over information about its Montana business or, alternatively, until March 31 to propose a new form of regulation. "Changes in the telecommunications industry itself, including the availability of alternatives to Qwest's landline service in parts of Qwest's Montana service territory, may signal the time has come for consideration of an alternative form of regulation for Qwest's retail telecommunications service," the order says. Qwest spokeswoman Johnna Hoff said the company would review Wednesday's order and determine its next step. "Today's order shows that the PSC is interested in a solution that benefits customers, the Commission and Qwest. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Montana Consumer Counsel to develop a solution for the PSC to consider," Hoff said. Consumers have also filed a complaint seeking a rate reduction from Qwest. An April hearing is scheduled in that case.