DENVER, May 10, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) Chairman and CEO Joseph P. Nacchio today rallied 66,000 employees to support the company?s efforts to get back into the long-distance business in 14 Western states. Nacchio delivered his remarks at a meeting in Denver of about 1,100 employees that was telecast and Webcast to other Qwest employees around the nation.
?By the end of this year, we will have invested $3.6 billion to open our network and markets to competition. We also have 2,700 full-time employees who are working with our wholesale customers to open our markets,? said Nacchio. ?This is a big priority for us along with improving service. We need all employees to be advocates for our re-entry into the long-distance business so we may bring the benefits of real long-distance competition to customers in our local service area.?
Nacchio called upon employees to get involved in numerous ways, but stressed the importance of continuing Qwest?s progress in improving customer service and opening local markets to competitors. Qwest recently announced that its service quality results for consumers and small businesses are at their highest levels in the past five to seven years. Service improvement has been the number one priority as Qwest has been preparing to get back into the long-distance business.
?I want to commend all of you for your commitment to improving customer service,? said Nacchio. ?At the end of the day, we need to ensure that the service all of our customers receive, both wholesale and retail, is among the best in the industry. That, as much as anything, will help open the door for our reentry into long distance.?
Qwest is pursuing the most aggressive and innovative effort in the communications industry to quickly win approval to offer long-distance service. Region-wide independent testing of Qwest?s operational support systems (OSS) began last month. In addition, the company has completed more than three-quarters of the state workshop sessions that evaluate Qwest?s compliance with rules to reenter the long-distance business. Both the OSS testing and the state workshops are scheduled to be completed this summer.
Qwest is on schedule to file with the Federal Communication Commission late this summer for approval to offer long-distance service in at least one of the states in its local territory and to file by the end of this year for FCC approval for all other states. The goal is to be back in the long-distance business in all 14 states a year from now.
?Getting back into the long-distance business isn?t just a top priority for Qwest, it?s a priority for our customers,? said Nacchio. ?We know our customers want more competition for their long distance business ? polling in our region indicates that more than 80 percent support full and open competition.?
Nacchio noted that Verizon and SBC?s entry into the long-distance market in New York and Texas respectively has been a great benefit to consumers. A study released this week by the independent Telecommunications Research and Action Center found that consumers in New York are saving $700 million annually in local and long-distance charges since the market was opened to full competition. Nacchio stated that once Qwest receives long-distance approval the company will be able to provide customers with another choice for long-distance service as well as offer bundles of services and the convenience of a single bill.
Following are facts on local competition in Qwest?s local service territory:
- State commissions have approved 1,145 interconnection agreements between Qwest and competitors.
- Competitors have easy access to more than 14 million customers ? more than 84% of Qwest?s customers ? via the equipment they?ve co-located in Qwest?s central offices. Throughout the region, 87 CLECs are co-locating their equipment at 2,999 sites in 488 central offices in Qwest?s 14 states.
- Qwest has processed 858,000 competitors? order requests in the past 12 months.
- Qwest has ?ported? almost 1.7 million numbers ? each line ported represents the conversion of an existing line from Qwest to a facilities-based competitor.
- In March alone, nearly 6.4 billion minutes of traffic was passed between Qwest?s customers and competitors? customers over competitors? facilities.
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 106,000 miles globally. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.
This release may contain projections and other 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, volatility of Qwest?s stock price, intense competition in the communications services market, changes in demand for Qwest?s products and services, dependence on new product development and acceleration of the deployment of advanced new services, such as broadband data, wireless and video services, which could require substantial expenditure of financial and other resources in excess of contemplated levels, higher than anticipated employee levels, capital expenditures and operating expenses, rapid and significant changes in technology and markets, adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting Qwest?s business and delays in Qwest?s ability to provide interLATA services within its 14-state local service territory, failure to maintain rights of way, and failure to achieve the projected synergies and financial results expected to result from the acquisition of U S WEST timely or at all and difficulties in combining the operations of Qwest and U S WEST. 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, and CyberCenter is a service mark of, Qwest Communications International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries.