DENVER ? October 5, 1998 ? Qwest today announced it has been chosen by the Great Plains Network (GPN) consortium to provide the backbone for the Great Plains Network?s Earth Systems Science data research network. The network, which is currently online, serves universities and research organizations in Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota. The network is partially funded by these states and by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The terms of the multimillion-dollar agreement call for Qwest to provide the GPN with
DS-3 Internet connectivity and an OC-12 connection to the Internet2 Abilene network. Last April, Qwest announced it would provide the Internet2 Abilene project OC-48 capacity along the its 18,449-mile Qwest Macro CapacitySM Fiber Network, making Abilene the farthest reaching, highest capacity research and education network in the world.

"Qwest is pleased to become an active corporate partner with the Great Plains Network?s effort to provide Internet2 services to researchers throughout the Midwest," said Lew Wilks, president of business markets for Qwest. "The academic community has clearly indicated that the Qwest native IP network has the speed, capacity, reliability and advanced service capabilities to handle future bandwidth intensive, complex data applications."

The Qwest Macro Capacity Fiber Network

Qwest?s planned domestic 18,449-mile network will serve over 130 cities, which represent approximately 80 percent of the data and voice traffic originating in the United States, upon its scheduled completion in the second quarter of 1999. To date, approximately 8,850 miles of the Qwest Macro Capacity Fiber Network are activated, and construction has commenced on 17,773 miles. Qwest?s transcontinental segment extends from Los Angeles to Sacramento and across to New York. Additionally, Qwest owns transatlantic submarine capacity linking the United States to Europe and will jointly own a transpacific submarine cable system connecting the U.S. to the Pacific Rim. Qwest is also extending its network 1,400 miles into Mexico with completion slated for late 1998.

The Qwest Macro Capacity Fiber network is designed with highly reliable and secure bi-directional, line switching OC-192 SONET ring architecture. Upon completion, the network will offer a self-healing system that provides the ultimate security and reliability by allowing instantaneous rerouting in the event of a fiber cut.

About the Great Plains Network

The Great Plains Network (GPN) is a consortium of Great Plains states dedicated to supporting scientific research in those states through the use of networking technology. Assisted by the NSF EPSCoR program, the consortium intends to construct a very high-speed network connecting state networks in each member state ? Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

About Qwest

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NASDAQ: QWST) is a multimedia communications company and one of the fastest growing companies in America today. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Qwest has approximately 6,000 employees and over 80 sales offices worldwide. With its world-class data and multimedia network, marketing expertise, and customer care and billing systems, Qwest is delivering high-quality data, video and voice connectivity securely and reliably to customers around the world. Further information is available at

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 documents filed by Qwest with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports on Form 10-Q, which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including potential fluctuations in quarterly results, dependence on new product development, rapid technological and market change, failure to complete the network on schedule, volatility of stock price, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks.

The Qwest logo is a regisons International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries.

Contact Information

Qwest Media Contact

Tyler Gronbach

(303) 992-2155