ALBUQUERQUE, July 9, 2002 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), moved a key step closer to offering New Mexico customers a real choice in long-distance service when the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) approved the last of the 14 federal checklist items necessary for Qwest?s re-entry into the long-distance business in New Mexico. Qwest plans to file its application to offer long-distance service in New Mexico with the FCC within the next few weeks.

?The commission?s action clearly acknowledges that Qwest has opened its local markets to competitors," said John Badal, Qwest vice president of policy and law for New Mexico. ?It reflects a lot of work on the part of the commission, the staff and all industry participants, which will bring more competition, better service and lower prices to customers in the state.?

?Through the leadership of the PRC, we are on the verge of providing greater local and long-distance competition to New Mexico,? said Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president of policy and law.

Qwest?s long-distance re-entry will save customers in New Mexico more than $65 million annually, or an average of more than $92 per residential customer, according to a study by Professor Jerry A. Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Telecommunications Economics Research Program. After Qwest is approved to re-enter the long-distance business, the company will be able to provide customers with another competitive choice for long-distance service, as well as offer bundled services and the convenience of a single bill.

Decisions have now been issued in New Mexico on all federally mandated 14-point checklist items. They include: interconnection and collocation; unbundled network elements; poles, ducts, conduits and rights-of-way; loops; transport; switching; 911, directory assistance and operator services; white page directory listings; number administration; signaling and databases; number portability; dialing parity; resale; and reciprocal compensation.

An independent systems test has also been completed in Qwest?s local service territory. The test demonstrated Qwest?s excellence in providing wholesale services and support to competitive local telephone companies. Qwest has spent in excess of $3 billion to open its markets to competitors and comply with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, including more than $180 million on OSS testing.

When Qwest acquired U S WEST, the company had to divest itself of its long-distance operations in the 14 western states where U S WEST provided local service. Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Qwest can re-enter the long-distance business once its application to the FCC has been approved.

About Qwest

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leader in reliable, scalable and secure broadband 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 190,000 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.



Contact Information
Media Contact
Mark Genrich
(602) 630-8220
mgenric@qwest.com
Investor Contact
Stephanie Comfort
800-567-7296
IR@qwest.com