BOISE, Idaho, November 27, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband communications company, moved a key step closer to offering Idaho customers a real choice in long-distance service with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission?s (IPUC) decision stating Qwest is in compliance on all 14 federal checklist items necessary for the company?s re-entry into the long-distance business in Idaho.
?The commission?s action clearly acknowledges that Qwest has opened its local markets to competitors,? said Jim Schmit, Qwest vice president of policy and law for Idaho. ?Qwest?s long-distance re-entry will mean more than $41 million in savings to customers, which will be a big boost to the state?s economy.?
A study by Professor Jerry A Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Telecommunications Economics Research Program, found that Idaho residents could save up to $41 million annually in local and long-distance charges once Qwest is allowed to re-enter the long-distance market. According to the study, Qwest?s re-entry will save residential and business customers in-region well over $1 billion annually. Additionally, a report by Consumer Action, an independent consumer non-profit organization, found that long-distance rates are increasing everywhere except in states where the local exchange carrier, such as Qwest, has been approved to offer competitive long-distance services. The study found that rates actually decreased in these states.
On November 15, the Communications Workers of America, the world?s largest telecommunications union, representing 37,000 Qwest employees, announced that it will support Qwest?s efforts to re-enter the long-distance business in its 14 Western states.
In its decision, the commission confirmed Qwest has satisfied all 14-point checklist items: 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. The IPUC decision follows the recommendation of an independent facilitator who moderated a series of workshops involving Qwest and local service competitors in Idaho and six other states where Qwest provides local service.
In addition, recent analysis shows Qwest?s wholesale service quality ? another requirement defined in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 ? is comparable or better on key performance measures as SBC Communication, whose long-distance applications for Missouri and Arkansas were recently approved by the Federal Communications Commission. Ninety-three percent of the wholesale performance indicators that Qwest measures monthly to support its re-entry into the long-distance business meet or exceed either the benchmark standard or are at parity with retail measurements. This meets or exceeds wholesale service results for local telecommunications carriers in states that already have FCC approval to enter the long-distance business.
Testing of Qwest?s operational support systems (OSS) is making steady progress. The Regional Oversight Committee?s OSS testing process, made up of regulators from 13 states in Qwest?s local service territory, including Idaho, is more than 80 percent complete.
When Qwest acquired U S WEST, the company had to divest itself of its long-distance holdings 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.
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.
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