DENVER, FEBRUARY 22, 2006 -Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) today announced that it has signed a new six-year, $24.7 million agreement with the State of Wyoming Department of Education to be the primary provider of network services for the Wyoming Equality Network (WEN) ; an existing state-wide network connecting more than 400 public schools. Qwest originally worked with the state to build the WEN in 1998.
Qwest and the Wyoming Department of Education are building the next-generation of the WEN with new enhancements including connectivity to several additional locations, greater bandwidth, enhanced security, voice over IP capabilities, increased scalability and improved network management.
The WEN connects all the public schools in the state, giving students and educators access to the Internet, inter-school connectivity and a connection to the state-wide education network. In addition, video connectivity is provided for distance education in all high schools throughout the state, supporting approximately 3,000 hours of distance learning monthly.
"The Wyoming Equality Network has been heralded as one of the most progressive and effective uses of technologies in national education surveys," said Jim McBride, Wyoming state superintendent of public instruction. "We plan to continue our success by working with Qwest to grow the applications and infrastructure of the WEN. We can't overstate the importance of equal access to the Internet, and we're pleased to be among the leaders in the nation when it comes to technology in the classroom."
"For Qwest, this underscores our commitment to the communities in which we live and work," said Tom Richards, executive vice president, business markets group for Qwest. "Not only are we thrilled to grow our relationship with the State of Wyoming, but we're proud to be the network provider to such a successful education network ; one that will benefit all the students in the state, while enhancing the voice and data infrastructure in Wyoming to benefit all citizens and complex business users."
Qwest has unparalleled experience in developing and managing vast education networks. For years, Qwest has been a leader in developing numerous local school networks; state-wide networks such as the Utah Education Network; and university and research networks, including the cutting-edge Internet2 Abilene Network.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), through its operating subsidiaries, is a leading provider of high-speed Internet, data, video and voice services. With approximately 40,000 employees, Qwest is committed to the "Spirit of Service" and providing world-class services that exceed customers-expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.