SEATTLE, March 6, 2000 ? Qwest Communications International, Inc. (NYSE: Q), U S WEST, Inc. (NYSE: USW); the staff of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, and the Public Counsel of the Washington Attorney General?s Office have agreed on recommended terms in the areas of service, rates and investment regarding the companies? pending merger application.
The negotiated agreement includes provisions designed to ensure continued investment in the state?s core telecommunications network and continued service improvement by the merged company. Investment commitments include replacing the U S West?s 12 remaining analog central office switches with digital equipment by June 30, 2001; deploying fiber optic interoffice transmission facilities to 12 offices by September 30, 2002; and maintaining historic per-access-line investments for three years after the merger closes. The agreement awaits review by the three-member Commission.
"This agreement represents an important step in finalizing approval for this transaction in the state of Washington," said Steve Davis, senior vice president of government affairs and senior associate general counsel. "Through this agreement, Qwest has demonstrated a strong commitment to Washington by continuing to invest in the infrastructure which will deliver the next generation of broadband Internet communications services."
"This agreement signals our strong commitment to customers and to doing business in Washington," said Kirk Nelson, U S WEST vice president-Washington. "Service improvements will continue in Washington, as will the significant investments we make in this state. We?re backing up our commitment to customers with an expanded service guarantee program. The agreement continues the momentum for approval of the merger, which will bring a new era of innovation and service excellence."
The merger has been approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and still awaits approval from seven other states in the U S WEST 14-state region.
The combined company, to be named Qwest Communications International Inc., will create a communications powerhouse with a market capitalization of approximately $70 billion, headquartered in Denver and employing about 64,000 people worldwide. U S WEST and Qwest will unite the nation?s most innovative local, wireless and broadband communications firm with one of the world's most advanced fiber-optic networks and broadband Internet providers. Together, the two firms will have more than 3 million miles of deployed fiber in the U.S. and worldwide, 29 million customers and a local network that is 99.2 percent digitally switched.
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 25,500 miles in North America. In addition, KPNQwest (Nasdaq: KQIP), Qwest's European joint venture with KPN, the Dutch telecommunications company, is building and will operate a high-capacity European fiber optic, Internet-based network that will span 11,800 miles when it is completed in 2001. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.
About U S WEST
U S WEST (NYSE: USW) is a leading broadband and communications service provider, with more than $13 billion in annual revenues. U S WEST leads the industry in deploying next-generation broadband ADSL and VDSL Internet access and data/video services; offers the nation's first and only 'one-number' advanced wireless service that integrates customers' home or business phones with their wireless PCS; and provides multimedia advertising services, including Internet & print directories. The company has nearly 2 million miles of deployed fiber in the U.S., provides local exchange services to more than 25 million customers in 14 states, and provides wireless services to more than 500,000 customers and data services to more than 800,000 customers nationally.
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 and U S WEST with the SEC, 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, Qwest's ability to achieve Year 2000 compliance, and adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties, for which neither Qwest nor U S WEST assumes any responsibility. Qwest and U S WEST undertake 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.
The Qwest logo is a registered trademark of Qwest Communications International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries. The U S WEST logo is a registration trademark of U S WEST, Inc. in the U.S.
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