Denver, December 14, 2000 — Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), the broadband Internet communications company, today asked AT&T to allow Qwest to connect to AT&T's cable networks in Colorado and Washington. The company is seeking to interconnect with AT&T's equipment and transmission facilities that underlie its high-speed internet access cable modem services.
"In those areas where we have yet to build out our own facilities we'd like to be able to offer consumers a package of services that includes high-speed Internet access through AT&T's broadband cable connection," said Afshin Mohebbi, Qwest president worldwide operations. "Our request that AT&T provide access to its cable facilities for the provisioning of communications services in Colorado and Washington was made in the same spirit as the agreements we've already entered into to open our systems and networks to competitors."
In a letter addressed to AT&T Broadband's president and CEO, Daniel Somers, Qwest requested that negotiations begin immediately. The letter cited a Ninth Circuit Court ruling that found that the transport portion of AT&T's high-speed internet access services offered over AT&T's broadband facilities is a telecommunications service, and thus AT&T can not discriminate against its competitors by prohibiting access to those facilities for the provision of such service. Through this request, Qwest is seeking the same access to AT&T's network that Qwest provides to AT&T and all other competitors.
Steve Davis, Qwest's senior vice president for policy & law said: "We've proven our commitment to competition. We're now giving AT&T the opportunity to not just talk about joining the new world of telecommunications choice, but to live up to its word. It's time for them to abandon their anti-competitive stance."
Davis said AT&T has repeatedly argued that Qwest must open its network and systems to competitors, but has steadfastly refused any request that AT&T open its own network. "AT&T's rhetoric on open markets is self-contradictory and transparently self-serving," added Davis. "It is now time for AT&T to make good on its repeated promises to open this market to meaningful competition."
"Qwest built its core business in a competitive environment," said Mohebbi. "We believe in the power of real competition to unlock the true potential of the worldwide communications industry and deliver more choices, advanced applications and lower prices that consumers deserve."
Since the merger with U S WEST, Qwest has lived up to its commitment to competition by entering into unprecedented market-opening agreements with many of its largest competitors, such as McLeodUSA and Eschelon. In September, Qwest announced a series of sweeping policy changes, including new wholesale products and services designed to increase competition for homes and businesses. In addition, dozens of companies, including AT&T, interconnect with Qwest's DSL facilities to provide competitive high-speed internet access services.
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.
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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