WASHINGTON, February 24, 1999 - The Abilene Project, the most advanced research and education network in the US, today began nationwide operations delivering high performance network services to 37 universities. Abilene serves as a test bed for Internet applications of the future such as distance learning, tele-medicine and digital libraries that will become commonplace in the future. Qwest Communications, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks and Indiana University are contributing equipment and services with an estimated value of $500 million over three years to deliver Abilene.

As an Internet2 backbone network, Abilene spans over 10,000 miles and operates at 2.4 gigabits per second, a speed 45,000 times faster than a 56K modem. More than 70 Internet2 universities and research facilities are expected to connect to Abilene by the end of 1999. The Abilene network is a project of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), home of the Internet2 project.

Abilene is comprised of best of breed technology and resources from its partners including 10,000 miles of Qwest Communications' advanced fiber optic network and engineering support. In addition, Cisco Systems has provided high-speed communications equipment that enables the integration of data, voice and video, and on-going engineering support for all eleven nodes of the Abilene network. Nortel Networks has provided network planning and engineering services, network management and optical networking capable of a transmission rate of 10 gigabits per second. Indiana University runs Abilene's Network Operation Center and has provided Abilene with problem determination and resolution and asset management.

"Qwest is proud to, not only provide the backbone for the Abilene network, but also to work side-by-side with other world technology leaders to create and test the advanced data applications of the future," said Lew Wilks, president of IP and multimedia markets for Qwest. "The success of Abilene, in such a small amount of time, is a testimonial to the dedication and determination of all involved parties to make Abilene a project that positively impacts the way we work and play."

"Cisco Systems is pleased to be a key partner in the Abilene project which has brought together the academic, research and corporate communities to make this network possible," said Judy Estrin, chief technology officer, Cisco Systems. "Cisco is committed to advancing the capabilities of the Internet by delivering integrated data, voice and video as well as other higher level services. Abilene and other Internet2 projects provide the testing ground for universitieions."

"Nortel Networks is pleased that our innovations in optical networking are being used to further advance the pioneering efforts of the Abilene IP network," said Mike Unger, president, Optical Networks, Nortel Networks.
"Nortel Networks 10 Gbps optical platform delivers maximum network reliability, capacity and performance -- critical attributes for what will be such an influential network infrastructure."

"The fact that the Abilene network is operational is of great significance for member universities whose faculty and researchers now have access to unsurpassed networking capabilities for teaching and research," said Indiana University vice president for information technology, Michael McRobbie. "Indiana University is delighted to be a partner in Abilene and to provide the Abilene Network Operations Center which will support the research and education community's needs by providing outstanding expertise in network management for the physical and operations aspects of the Abilene."

"The remarkable collaboration among the Abilene Partners has provided Internet2 members with unsurpassed networking capabilities," said Dr. Douglas E. Van Houweling, president and CEO of UCAID, which is leading the Internet2 and Abilene projects. "Just as the research networks of a decade ago produced technologies that have transformed the way we all work, learn and live today, Abilene will help develop the technology we will all use tomorrow."

A primary goal of Abilene is to support the efforts of the Internet2 project. To enable collaboration among university and corporate Internet2 members, Abilene will also connect corporate research labs; among the first will be IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center in Westchester County, New York and IBM's Almaden Research in San Jose, California. For more information on Abilene please see: http://www.internet2.edu/abilene/

The Abilene network is a project of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), home of the Internet2 project. In partnership with Qwest Communications, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks and Indiana University, UCAID is deploying Abilene as the most advanced and far-reaching research and education network in the United States. Over 70 Internet2 institutions are planning to connect by the end of 1999. For more information on Abilene please see: http://www.internet2.edu/abilene/

About Qwest Communications
Qwest Communications International Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST - news) is a leader in reliable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. Headquartered in Denver, Qwest has more than 8,000 employees and 80 sales offices in North America, Europe and Mexico. The Qwest Macro Capacity(SM) Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking, will span more than 18,500 route miles in the United States when it is completed in mid-1999.

About Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO - news) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News and information are available at www.cisco.com.

About Nortel Networks
Nortel Networks optical networking equipment is responsible for carrying 75 percent of all backbone Internet traffic in North America. Nortel Networks has built more than 20 global networks to date with its 10 Gbps solution and leads the market due to unsurpassed capacity, reliability and network performance. Nortel Networks' 10 Gbps optical networking platform has over 90 percent market share. For more information, visit Nortel's web site l.com/">www.nortel.com.

About Indiana University
Indiana University, one of the oldest state universities in the Midwest, has been ranked among the ten best public institutions of higher education in the US. In addition to being selected as the site for the Abilene Network Operations Center (NOC), networking highlights at IU include having a high-speed connection to the vBNS and receiving a grant from the NSF to develop a high-speed, international network connection, called TransPAC, between the vBNS and the Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN). www.indiana.edu

This press release is not an offer of securities for sale in the United States. Securities of KPNQwest may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration. Any public offering of securities of KPNQwest to be made in the United States will be made by means of a prospectus that may be obtained from KPNQwest and that will contain detailed information about KPNQwest and management, as well as financial statements. This release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements include potential fluctuations in quarterly results, dependence on new product development, rapid technological and market change, failure to complete the network on schedule and on budget, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks, KPNQwest's ability to achieve Year 2000 compliance, and adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment. KPNQwest undertakes no obligation to review or confirm analysts' expectations or estimates or 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.

Contact Information

Qwest Media Contact

Tyler Gronbach

(303) 992-2155