Qwest Communications Announces Next Generation Virtual Private Networking

Networld+Interop Booth #4169

Las Vegas, May 10, 2000 — Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), the broadband Internet communications company, today announced the industry's first next generation Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution – Qwest VPN Service – featuring world-class quality-of-service, service level agreements, and network-based firewalls to protect mission-critical business networks. This comprehensive suite of managed VPN services leverages Qwest's leading nationwide Internet Protocol-based network to deliver the fastest, most reliable and secure VPNs, with interoperability that can extend the reach and scale of legacy networks while easing their migration to an IP platform.

Qwest VPN is an end-to-end, network-based service that allows businesses of all sizes to cost-effectively configure high-performance site-to-site, remote access and intranet/extranet solutions in a secure, standards-based environment. Qwest VPN is also modular in design, enabling enterprise customers to implement VPNs tailored to their specific business requirements and network infrastructure.

Customers can now take advantage of the increased performance, lowered costs and simplified management inherent to Qwest's network VPN solution.

Key Customer Benefits:

  • Eliminates the need to install and manage complex firewalls, develop sophisticated management tools, and employ and train expensive specialized personnel
  • Gives customers flexible, direct control over their network elements and services via a new Web-based management tool, Qwest Control
  • Delivers high-performance interoperability between diverse network architectures

"Qwest is giving customers unprecedented flexibility, enabling them to maintain control while outsourcing any level of wide-area network service that we then dynamically scale as their requirements shift," said Lewis O. Wilks, Qwest's president of Internet and multimedia markets. "Qwest VPN customers will realize savings through reduced equipment and support costs, while gaining access to next generation broadband applications and services to bring together their corporate sites, remote workers, suppliers, customers or other partners in a virtual enterprise."

Qwest VPN is the industry's first carrier-grade solution that makes it easy and efficient to extend extranets to partners, suppliers and customers. Other VPN implementations require every VPN subscriber to have compatible customer premises equipment (CPE) and software. Qwest breaks down this barrier by locating the VPN technology on the network border, permitting multiple access types – such as private line, ATM, Frame Relay, DSL and Dial - to interoperate seamlessly. Customers simply connect their users to the network and Qwest enables the security associations required to participate in the VPN.

Quebecor World (USA) Inc., a subsidiary of Quebecor World Inc. – the largest commercial printer in the world – chose Qwest VPN to provide a secure, scalable infrastructure to increase enterprise communications and support emerging e-commerce initiatives. The company is using Qwest VPN to cost-effectively replace its Frame Relay and SMDS networks, eliminate individual Internet connections, and consolidate access to customers and vendors via extranets.

"Qwest is ahead of the industry with the only network-based VPN, network-based firewall, NAT and QoS offering combined with a nationwide, robust fiber-optic backbone," said Terry Bush, Quebecor World's Vice President of Data Communications. "Qwest VPN will be the foundation for all the company's communications requirements and allow Quebecor World (USA) to lead the industry for years to come."

Worldwide expenditures for VPN products and services will jump from $6.3 billion this year to almost $40 billion by 2004, or more than 500 percent, according to Infonetics Research.

Qwest VPN is an alternative to traditional point-to-point and Frame Relay networks. The service provides a fully-meshed network topology without permanent virtual circuits (PVCs) interconnecting dedicated sites, providing a lower cost wide area networking environment. Customers, however, do not need to replace their legacy connections since Qwest VPN inherently integrates multiple access technologies. Qwest is also developing multiple protocol support via L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) to enable non-IP data to route and participate on the VPN.

In keeping with Qwest's overall product and service strategy, Qwest VPN takes a multivendor approach, incorporating network edge switches from companies such as Nortel Networks Shasta IP Services and CoSine Communications.

Qwest VPN customers also benefit from end-to-end packet performance, which ensures that the end-user-to-application experience is secure, fast, and reliable. The platform supports innovative applications such as video streaming, multicasting, voice over IP, messaging/FTP and e-commerce. Qwest VPN is also an ideal platform for network-hosted applications, such as those provided by Qwest and its Application Service Provider (ASP) joint venture with KPMG, Qwest Cyber.Solutions. These include best-of-breed enterprise applications from strategic relationships with companies such as Microsoft Corp., Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, Siebel, and BMC Software.

CPE-based VPN Solutions

For customers who prefer a CPE-based offering, Qwest is the first service provider to introduce a CPE VPN solution for companies wanting secure, high-availability, fault tolerant solutions built on the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server platform. The combination of Qwest's 24x7 Network Operations Center support and the deployment of Microsoft Active Directory (which allows creation and management of complex VPN security policies) ensures an expertly managed and scalable VPN solution that provides a location-independent point of management.

"We applaud Qwest for being first-to-market with a Windows 2000 CPE-based solution that will help accelerate the adoption of virtual networks," said Mark Perry, marketing director for Microsoft's server infrastructure products.

This CPE-based offering is in addition to Qwest's Managed Firewall VPN, announced last year. This fully-managed service bundles Nokia hardware and Check Point software with Qwest's 24x7 monitoring, management, and administration. Qwest's Managed Firewall Service is designed for controlled Internet access, site-to-site VPNs, hosting center security, and supplier/partner extranets.

Pricing and Availability

Qwest VPN is currently in use by beta customers and scheduled for general availability this summer. Qwest Control, the integrated Web-based network management tool, will include support for Qwest VPN at that time.

Network VPN pricing starts at $225 per month, per port. Windows 2000 VPN and Nokia/Checkpoint Managed Firewall Service begin at $1,500 per managed VPN gateway, excluding port charges.

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 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.

Qwest VPN Service

Key Features

Unprecedented Network Management

Qwest VPN eliminates the need to build customized network management tools or manage resources to perform network modifications. Customers can now have direct control of network elements and service components via an easy-to-use, Web-based interface for on-demand VPN reconfigurations without order forms or provisioning delays.

These management features are enabled by the newly-announced Qwest Control, the only Web-based network management tool that gives customers a single point of control across multiple data, IP and voice services. Qwest VPN users will be able, for example, to establish VPN tunnels, set encryption levels, and administer QoS parameters. Qwest measures network performance from a customer viewpoint - at the application level - allowing customers to view performance by application, user, session and even individual VPN tunnels.

Qwest Control also serves as a sophisticated diagnosis and prescription instrument, providing automated instruction for end users to identify and resolve problems online. They can also receive detailed network management reports, enter trouble tickets, and pay their bills electronically.

Quality of Service, Service Level Agreements

Qwest's next generation VPN services provide unparalleled traffic management based on industry standards. Quality of Service (QoS) is delivered by IP DiffServ with Weighted Fair Queuing (WFQ), which assigns weights to each queue that reflect its priority. As a result, customers can manage traffic on their VPNs by assigning different priorities, for example, to various employees, customers, applications, or packet destinations. Qwest VPN also adapts automatically to changing network traffic conditions - bandwidth allocation allows Qwest to dynamically control the amount of bandwidth each customer or application utilizes on access links into the Qwest network.

Industry-leading Service Level Agreements (SLAs) include 100 percent network availability (including the Qwest local loop), 65 millisecond network delay and 100 percent throughput guarantees.

Network Security Services

Qwest uses leading-edge security technologies to securely route data across its nationwide backbone. All access points are directly connected to Qwest's carrier-grade, network-enabled firewall engine to ensure secure, high-speed throughput. The firewall engine provides stateful packet inspection - a sophisticated, highly-aware security technology - to protect customer networks, and enables network administrators to set access privileges for their users. Qwest also optionally provides anti-spoofing, intrusion detection, and additional security mechanisms.

Qwest VPN users will be able to access the Qwest network anywhere in world, connect safely to their enterprise network, and be confident that their data transmissions are secure. Customer data is encrypted via standard DES or 3DES data encryption protocols and tunneled via IPSec (IP Security Protocol) across Qwest's IP backbone.

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 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. 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.

The Qwest logo is a registered trademark of Qwest Communications International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries.

Contact Information
Utah Media Contact
Lee Wolfe
(800) 567-7296
Utah Media Contact
Jane Morrissey
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