MINNEAPOLIS, November 6, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband communications company, continued its record improvement in customer service in Minnesota through the third quarter of 2001 ? producing the best results in six years in key areas for residential and small-business customers. These results mark the fifth consecutive quarter of improved customer service since Qwest acquired U S WEST on June 30, 2000.
?After investing more than $5 billion dollars over 16 months throughout our local service region, we have made significant strides improving service,? said Augie Cruciotti, executive vice president Qwest local networks. ?We intend to continue these good results.?
Qwest has had no delays in the installation of the first telephone line (not more than 30 days) in Minneapolis-St. Paul for five consecutive months. At the end of September, there were no such delayed installations in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Duluth, Fargo-Moorhead, La Crosse, Rochester and St. Cloud, as well as in the states of Iowa, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.
In Minnesota, service data for the third quarter of 2001 showed the best results in six years in some key areas for residential and small-business customers:
- More than 98 percent of installation commitments were met on time:
- Nearly 94 percent of total repair commitments were met on time;
- Nearly 91 percent of service outages were repaired in less than 24 hours ? an improvement of nearly 15 percent over the same time a year ago ? the best third quarter results in six years;
- More than 90 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 exchange carriers in states that already have Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval to enter the long-distance business.
Qwest Re-Entering Long-Distance Business
Improving customer service is an integral part of Qwest?s efforts to re-enter the long-distance business in its 14 Western states. While Minnesota did not engage in the 271 workshop process, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has agreed to begin its review of Qwest?s compliance with federal long-distance re-entry requirements next spring. Additionally, Qwest has filed its voluntary Performance Assurance Plan that ensures that wholesale service performance stays at high levels after it receives long-distance re-entry approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
In addition to Minnesota, Qwest is making progress re-entering the long-distance market throughout its local service territory. Qwest has completed long-distance re-entry workshops in 12 of the 14 states where it provides local service. 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, is approximately 80 percent complete and is expected to conclude by mid- to late December.
Once Qwest is approved by the Federal Communications Commission to re-enter the long-distance business ? which is on track in all 14 states by mid-2002 ? the company will be able to offer a complete bundle of services that includes long-distance, wireless, Internet, and local services, as well as the convenience of a single bill.
A study by Professor Jerry A Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Telecommunications Economics Research Program, found that Minnesota residents could save up to $130 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. After Qwest is approved to re-enter the long-distance business, the company will be able to provide customers with another choice for long-distance service, as well as offer bundled services and the convenience of a single bill.
Additionally, a report by Consumer Action, an independent consumer non-profit, found that long-distance rates are increasing everywhere except states where the local exchange carrier has been approved to offer competitive long-distance services. The study found that rates actually decreased in these states.
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, delays in Qwest?s ability to provide interLATA services within its 14-state local service territory, adverse conditions in the economy nationally and within its 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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