• Record-breaking speed for data transfer puts Europe in driver's seat for data communications
  • Four times faster than current top speed of any network in the world
  • Establishes the first clear Internet Protocol link via Juniper Networks M160 Internet Backbone Router - Four times faster than top router speed of any IP link in Europe

Denver, May 9, 2000 - Qwest Communications International, Inc. (NYSE: Q), today announced that KPNQwest, the leading pan-European data communications company, and Alcatel, the world leader in optical technology, resoundingly smashed the world speed record for Internet communications during recent field trials. In addition, the European record for clear Internet Protocol (IP) data transmission had also been quadrupled. This is not only a technological breakthrough, but also a powerful signal that European businesses and institutions will be uniquely positioned to migrate to the fastest, most efficient and most secure e-commerce future.

When implemented in KPNQwest's pan-European Internet backbone, this technology will enable businesses and customers in Europe access to extremely fast, reliable Internet connections. It will also enable customers to exploit such bandwidth-intensive and quality-sensitive applications as High Definition TV, streaming media and quality video communications.

A Technological Breakthrough
In technology terms, the field trial has succeeded in delivering the industry's first multiple-channel 40 Gbit/s (40 billion bits per second TDM multiplexed) field trial carrying the first clear 10 Gbit/s IP wavelength service. Using Alcatel's new multi-terabit optical transport platform, the Optinex™1640, and Juniper Networks' M160™ Internet Backbone Router, experts were able to combine multiple wavelengths, each at a record line speed of 40 Gbit/s and transmit them between the German cities of Frankfurt and Gernsheim (a round trip of approx. 100 miles).

The successful field trial involved the transmission of live commercial data from leading business-to-business Internet Service Provider (ISP), KPNQwest Germany (formerly Xlink). This demonstrates for the first time the practical implementation of ultra high-speed transmission at 40 Gbit/s, with multiple wavelengths, over an existing fiber base. A line rate of 40 Gbit/s is four times faster than the current top speed of the fastest networks in the world. Moreover, the clear 10 Gbit/s IP link beats the fastest European IP networks by a factor of four.

What can a 40 Gbit/s connection deliver?

  • More than 16,000 streaming video channels can be transported simultaneously
  • More than 750 studio quality streaming video channels can be transported simultaneously
  • 450,000 people can have a simultaneous telephone conversation.
  • The complete internet traffic flow on the Amsterdam internet exchange could be transported 450 times over
  • The complete internet traffic flow on the London internet exchange could be transported 30 times over
  • The complete contents of the Encyclopedia Britannica could be transported in less than a quarter of a second
  • The content of the British Library could be transported in less than 30 minutes.

Massive boost to Internet backbone network
At a stroke, this field trial positions KPNQwest as the European leader in new, high-capacity optical transmission implementations. The effort is part of KPNQwest's aggressive rollout of an all-optical, high-capacity IP network that will enable a host of new Internet and customer-managed bandwidth services, enhanced through its hosting, ASP and ISP assets across Europe, including the 18 mega-CyberCenters KPNQwest is building with IBM.

Commenting on the breakthrough, KPNQwest President and CEO Jack McMaster said: 'This is a world first for data communications and a European first for Internet Protocol communications. It is also a milestone for all customers for whom speed, reliability and security are critical to their business. A transmission speed of 40 Gbit/s per wavelength and the ability to relay packets through routers at 10 Gbit/s quadruples the existing speed possibilities and opens the door for a variety of e-commerce and m-commerce applications. KPNQwest is pleased to be the first carrier in the world to achieve this breakthrough for our European customers."

Christian Reinaudo, President of Alcatel Optics, said: "Through our new Optinex™: technology, we are continuing to deliver the very latest in optical networking, providing customers with the capability to manage exponential growth in broadband traffic. This breakthrough technology radically exploits the virtually untapped potential capacity of our customers' fiber optic networks, creating the necessary bandwidth to handle the Internet's explosive growth. Together with Alcatel's ability to reach very long-haul transmission both in terrestrial and submarine, this innovation will help create a global, large capacity network."

Scott Kriens, CEO and President of Juniper Networks noted: "The new Juniper Networks equipment will help strengthen KPNQwest's position as the leading provider of next-generation services such as dedicated Internet access, web hosting, video streaming and IP-based virtual private networks (VPNs). The Juniper Networks M160 router with OC-192c/STM-64 interfaces provides unprecedented capacity, quality of service and restoration capability and will support new services."

About KPNQwest
KPNQwest (NASDAQ & ASE: KQIP) is a leading facilities-based, pan-European provider of data-centric services based on Internet Protocol (IP). It is deploying a technologically advanced 11,800 miles fiber-optic network connecting 46 cities throughout Europe and provides a full portfolio of data-centric IP-based services and other advanced telecommunications services, including a pan-European Digital Subscriber Line service. KPNQwest is the one of the largest business ISPs in Europe with operations in 15 countries. KPNQwest has twelve CyberCenters™ and has announced plans to build a further eighteen 100,000 sq.ft CyberCenters across Europe, on its high-capacity fibre-optic network to provide web-hosting, application sharing and telehousing services. Website: www.kpnqwest.com

About Alcatel
In November 1999, RHK, a leading telecommunications analyst firm, said that Alcatel holds a 21% share - the number one position - of the world's total transport market, which comprises submarine and terrestrial transmission systems. RHK noted that Alcatel's market-leading 37% market share in the submarine networks segment helped secure the top position in the total transport market. In addition, RHK found that Alcatel commands a 37% share of the digital cross-connect systems (DCS) segment. Cross-connect systems contain the enabling technology for operators to offer high bandwidth services. Alcatel is also cited as the global leader in terms of DWDM market share for the global market encompassing both terrestrial and submarine applications. Alcatel builds next generation networks, delivering integrated end-to-end voice and data networking solutions to established and new carriers, as well as enterprises and consumers worldwide. With 120,000 employees and sales of EURO 23 billion in 1999, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit Alcatel on the Internet: http://www.alcatel.com

About Juniper Networks&#reg; Juniper Networks, Inc. is a leading provider of purpose-built systems that meet the scalability, performance, density, and compatibility requirements of rapidly evolving, optically enabled IP networks. The company's purpose-built systems provide new IP infrastructure solutions for the world's leading service providers. Juniper Networks service, manufacturing teams, and IP engineers work closely with customers to build and support customer networks. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, California. For more information, please contact the company at 650 526 8000 or visit the web site at http://www.juniper.net

Juniper Networks is a registered trademark of Juniper Networks, Inc. M160 is a trademark of Juniper Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered service marks may be the property of their respective owners.

This release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the written prospectus relating to the initial public offering and the related registration statement filed by KPNQwest with the SEC, which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including failure to complete our network as planned and on time, failure of European Internet use to increase as expected, significant competition, rapid technological change and adverse changes in the regulatory environment. KPNQwest undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

Contact Information
Outside Contacts:
Alcatel - Press Relation
Monica Williamson
(800) 448-0804
Juniper Networks - International PR specialist
Monica Williamson
(800) 448-0804
KPNQwest – Media Relations
Piers Schreiber
+31 23 568 7612