DENVER, February 2, 2004 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) today announced a multimillion-dollar, five-year contract to provide three research facilities in West Virginia with a high-speed optical network (HSON), providing greater communications network bandwidth and future growth capacity to north central West Virginia?s growing technology sector.

The OC-12 synchronous optical network (SONET) links the West Virginia University (WVU) Research Corporation in Morgantown, WV, NASA?s Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility in Fairmont, WV and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Morgantown, WV. The network also enables connectivity to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) terascale computer, the fastest open research computer in the nation, and to other research organizations nationwide.

Under the contract, Qwest is providing equipment, construction and network management. Local service in West Virginia is provided by Allegany Communications Connect.

?Qwest is pleased to provide a network that has the power to connect three leading research institutions. Qwest worked with each to build the network on site, keeping cost to the customer as low as possible,? said James F. X. Payne, senior vice president, Qwest Government Services Division. ?As the users? demands grow, the OC-12 circuit is capable of expanding to OC-48 to meet their needs.?

Ned Keeler, director of NASA?s IV&V Facility, which took the lead in the network upgrade, states, ?The new architecture extends service to the Fairmont research community and allows for expanded bandwidth capability to all parties at a significantly reduced cost. Additional users also may be added to the network as the north central West Virginia research community continues its growth.?

?This is one more example of our continuing effort to attract leading technology providers to our region,? said Dr. John Weete, vice president for research at West Virginia University. ?Our goals in contributing to the enhanced network are to stimulate economic development for our entire area and increase our research capacity.?

Several years ago, WVU and NETL collaborated with the PSC to establish a high-speed connection among them. This collaboration inspired a group called the SuperComputing Science Consortium (SC)² - designed to advance research capabilities in the region to create an environment for researchers to share resources. (SC)² brings more users to the network, thereby sharing costs by creating a larger user base.

?By working together, (SC)² members can accomplish more than by working separately,? said Lynn Layman of the PSC and one of the founders and co-chair of the Consortium. ?All (SC)² partners have particular areas of expertise, and through collaborations within (SC)² and with other regional organizations, we are able to strengthen the research capabilities of all of the partners and the region as a whole.?

In addition to the three research institutions, it is anticipated that the Institute for Scientific Research and Fairmont State College in West Virginia, also (SC)² members, will be added to the network soon.

The HSON provides users with access to high-speed networks through the Internet2 partnership, which includes the Abilene Network, the most advanced IP backbone research and education network in the country.

About NASA IV&V Facility

Located in the heart of West Virginia?s emerging technology sector, IV&V Facility was established as part of an agency-wide strategy to provide the highest achievable safety and cost-effectiveness for mission critical software. Governed by the Goddard Space Flight Center, the IV&V Facility houses over 170 full-time employees and leverages the over 20 in-house partners and contractors.

About WVU Research Corporation

West Virginia University is a land grant comprehensive doctoral granting institution designated as the only Carnegie Doctoral/Research University ? Extensive in the state. The university is a ?student centered? institution and currently has over 24,000 students. The WVU Research Corporation is a private, non-profit corporation legislatively chartered by the state to act on behalf of the university as the fiscal agent for sponsored programs and to manage intellectual properties for the institution.

About NETL

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), with campuses in Morgantown, WV and Pittsburgh, PA, as well as several other locations nationwide, is a multi-purpose laboratory, owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It conducts and implements science and technology development programs for the Department. Its research and development activities are conducted on-and off-site through partnerships, cooperative research and development agreements, grants and contractual agreements. It partners with industries, universities and other national and federal laboratories, private research organizations and other federal and state agencies.

About (SC)²

The SuperComputing Science Consortium (SC)² is a partnership of the National Energy Technology Laboratory, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University, the West Virginia Governor?s Office of Technology, the Institute for Scientific Research, Duquesne University, the Pennsylvania State University, Waynesburg College and the NASA IV&V. The partnership improves the ability of its members to advance energy and environment technologies through the application of high performance computing and communications.

About PSC

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, together with the Westinghouse Electric Company. Established in 1986, the PSC is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.

About Qwest

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 47,000 employees are 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

This release may contain projections and other forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to: the duration and extent of the current economic downturn in our 14-state local service area, including its effect on our customers and suppliers; access line losses due to increased competition, including from technology substitution of our access lines with wireless and cable alternatives; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to de-lever our balance sheet through asset sales or other transactions; any adverse outcome of the SEC's current investigation into our accounting policies, practices and procedures and certain transactions; any adverse outcome of the current investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver into certain matters relating to us; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by Congress, regulatory authorities, media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; further delays in making required public filings with the SEC; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings, including any adverse outcome of current or future legal proceedings related to matters that are the subject of governmental investigations, and, to the extent not covered by insurance, if any, our inability to satisfy any resulting obligations from funds available to us, if any; potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete including the likelihood of certain of our competitors emerging from bankruptcy court protection or otherwise reorganizing their capital structure and competing effectively against us; changes in demand for our products and services; acceleration of the deployment of advanced new services, such as broadband data, wireless and video services, which could require substantial expenditure of financial and other resources in excess of contemplated levels; higher than anticipated employee levels, capital expenditures and operating expenses; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; and changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our significant accounting policies.

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