Denver, November 16, 2000 — Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), the broadband Internet communications company, and Eschelon Telecom, Inc., an integrated communications providers, today announced an agreement for voice and data communications services that will produce $150 million in revenue to Qwest over five years.
"Once again, we're demonstrating our commitment to opening our local markets to competition and to offering our wholesale customers a wider array of services so they can better serve their customers," said Gregory M. Casey, Qwest Executive Vice President of Wholesale Markets.
"Eschelon is pleased with the terms of our agreement with Qwest. It really is the small to medium sized business customer that ultimately benefits from this arrangement through our ability to offer competitive prices and more options to our customers," said Richard A. Smith, Eschelon's President and Chief Operating Officer. "I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Qwest's Wholesale Markets team for getting this deal completed. They were creative, responsive and moved quickly. We are seeing the real benefits of the Qwest/U S West merger and the opening of the local marketplace."
The agreement provides Eschelon with the ability to sell additional features and information services that Qwest had not previously offered competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs). Under the terms of the agreement, Eschelon will be able to offer its customers a broad menu of services, including voice messaging and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services. In addition, Eschelon will be able to significantly expand its market coverage while Qwest will be able to increase its revenues and ensure cost recovery moving forward. Eschelon provides competitive local exchange services in the following states where Qwest provides local service: Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona and Utah.
"In the few months since Qwest acquired U S WEST, we've negotiated business to business deals with two of our major wholesale customers – who also happen to be competitors to our retail group – without having to involve regulators or arbitrators," said Casey. "That's good news for customers and it lets everyone know that Qwest is going to do things differently."
In September, Qwest announced a series of sweeping policy changes, including new wholesale products and services designed to increase competition for homes and businesses. These changes, along with this agreement with Eschelon, may help Qwest gain swifter approval to reenter the long-distance business. Because of its merger with U S WEST, Qwest cannot provide long-distance service to customers in the 14 states where it provides local service until the company can prove to regulators that its local markets are open to competitors.
About Qwest Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leader in reliable, scalable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. The Qwest Macro Capacity® Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking equipment for speed and efficiency, spans more than 104,000 miles globally. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.
About Eschelon Telecom Eschelon Telecom, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is one of the fastest growing providers of integrated voice, data and Internet services in the United States. The company offers small to medium sized businesses a comprehensive line of telecommunications and Internet products including local lines, long distance, business telephone systems, DSL, T-1, network solutions and Web hosting. Eschelon employs more than 800 telecommunications/Internet professionals and currently provides services in Minnesota, Arizona, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Nevada. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.eschelon.com.
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 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 potential fluctuations in quarterly results, dependence on new product development, rapid technological and market change, failure to maintain rights of way, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks, adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment, and failure to achieve the synergies and financial results expected from the acquisition of U S WEST, Inc. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties, for which Qwest assumes no responsibility. Qwest 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.
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