Denver, January 4, 2001 — Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), the broadband Internet communications company, today announced it signed a three-year, $32 million contract with mysmart.com, a leading manufacturer of cutting-edge Internet systems. Qwest will provide mysmart.com with a variety of services, including Web hosting and development, dedicated Internet access, dial port connectivity, onsite project management and, in the future, DSL connectivity.
mysmart.com offers two related services to consumers: low-cost Internet access and an inventive mouse pad system that makes shopping on the Internet easier and safer. The mysmart Internet service, named mysmart ISPTM, will cost only $9.95 per month and will be exempt from the type of pervasive advertisements found with free Internet access providers. Value-priced mysmart DSL will be available in select markets at the end of the year.
The mysmart.com Mouse Pad System combines one-button Internet navigation with smart card technology to make Web surfing easier and more secure. The pad features 20 buttons that take users directly to pre-set and user-selected Internet sites and services. It incorporates a smart card with a powerful computer chip that is capable of storing the user's preferences, passwords, and personal information - facilitating a more secure online shopping experience and simplifying Web navigation. The key card can be used in any mysmart.com-equipped computer, allowing users to access their information simply by inserting the card into the pad. As part of the marketing agreement with Qwest, mysmart.com customers will be able to purchase Qwest long-distance service (where available) from a button on the mysmart.com mouse pad.
"We are delighted to have this strategic alliance with Qwest," said Jim DeRose, President and CEO of mysmart.com. "By providing optional low cost, high quality Internet access in conjunction with our mysmart Mouse Pad System, our customers have a valuable resource and can now enjoy all that the Web has to offer easily and affordably."
In addition to providing services to mysmart.com, Qwest has made an equity investment of $5 million in mysmart.com as part of a long-term strategic alliance. mysmart.com also has received a $500,000 investment from Hawk Holdings, a strategic alliance between Qwest and Baxter Investments, that is focused on emerging technology infrastructure and service businesses.
"mysmart.com and Qwest share a common vision of making the Internet accessible to a broad community, so it was an attractive equity investment," said Rick Weston, Qwest senior vice president, Internet Solutions. "At the same time, our work for mysmart.com is a true testament of Qwest's ability to provide an end-to-end e-business solution."
Based in Los Angeles, California, mysmart.com is committed to making Internet navigation and e-commerce simpler, more secure and more rewarding for both consumers and e-business companies. Through proprietary technology, mysmart.com delivers a user-friendly, customizable experience that simplifies access, navigation and business transactions over the Internet by placing a world of products and services at the users' fingertips. mysmart.com launched its first product, the mysmart Mouse Pad SystemÔ, in September, 2000. mysmart.com is backed by an additional $30 million in funding from SOFTBANK Capital Partners LP and SOFTBANK Capital Advisors Fund LP.
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.
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