DENVER, August 9, 2001? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband communications company, today announced the completion of long-distance re-entry workshops in 12 of the 14 states where it provides local service.
Oregon and Nebraska join Washington State in becoming the latest to finish the 14-point checklist workshop process necessary for the company?s re-entry into the long-distance business, following Arizona and Colorado?s successful completion. Additionally, seven states working together in a collaborative effort - Iowa, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming - have completed their workshops. The seven-state collective effort is unique in that it will speed final long-distance approval, allowing Qwest to file with the FCC for approval for the seven states almost simultaneously.
?Our customers are closer to getting real choice and lower long-distance rates,? said Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president for policy and law. ?Qwest has spent billions of dollars to open its network, and dedicated more than 2,500 people to meeting the needs of wholesale customers.? Davis said that once Qwest is approved to re-enter the long-distance business, the company will be able to offer a complete bundle of services that includes long distance and the convenience of a single bill.
A recent study by Professor Jerry A. Hausman, Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Telecommunications Economics Research Program, calculated that Qwest?s re-entry into the long-distance market will save residential and business customers in-region well over a billion dollars annually. For an average residential customer, that equals nearly $100 a year in savings.
The exhaustive process is based on a 14-point checklist created by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that must be satisfied before Qwest is again allowed to offer long-distance services in its 14-state local service region.
The state long-distance re-entry workshops are collaborative forums in which Qwest works with competitors and state commissions to address literally thousands of issues which collectively demonstrate Qwest?s compliance with the 14-point checklist. These open, collaborative workshops are run by regulators and are designed to address the needs of competitors, resolve disputes between competitors and Qwest, and ensure Qwest?s local markets are open to competitors.
As a company that provides local telephone service in-region and competes with other local telephone companies out of region, Qwest is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of competing carriers as contained in the 14-point checklist. In a recent FCC open meeting addressing collocation issues, Commissioner Michael J. Copps found Qwest's approach noteworthy, saying "We've seen evidence that carriers with both ILEC and CLEC operations like Qwest are working to find compromise."
Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) are beginning to recognize the difference between Qwest and local Bell Operating Companies in terms of opening markets to competition. In a recent filing before the Arizona Corporation Commission, Allegiance executive vice president Anthony J. Parella.stated, ?Allegiance has had the opportunity to work with a number of incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) across the country and has found its relationship with Qwest to be among the most satisfactory and cooperative.?
Qwest expects to file its first application with the FCC this year, to file the remaining applications in late 2001 and early 2002, and to receive approval for all states by mid-2002.
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 113,000 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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