ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., November 8, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband communications company, continued its record improvement in customer service in New Mexico through the third quarter of 2001 ? producing the best results in five 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 over 16 months throughout our local service region, we have made significant strides improving service,? said Afshin Mohebbi, Qwest president and COO. ?We intend to continue these good results.?
At the end of September, Qwest had no delays of more than 30 days for the installation of a first telephone line in Iowa, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. In the first three quarters of this year, total customer complaints to New Mexico state regulators have dropped 49 percent compared to the same period last year.
In New Mexico, service data for the third quarter of 2001 showed the best results in five years in key areas for residential and small-business customers:
- Nearly 99 percent of installation commitments were met on time ? the best results in five years;
- 95 percent of total repair commitments were met on time;
- Repeat repairs within 30 days decreased by more than 14 percent from a year ago;
- More than 84 percent of service outages were repaired in less than 24 hours;
- 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.
"We have seen an improvement in the quality of service Qwest provides over the past year," said Chet Lytle, Jr., president of Communications Diversified Inc., an Albuquerque provider of business telephone services. "Lead times are much shorter and repair times are down as well.?
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. The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has issued decisions on 11 of the 14 checklist items required for Qwest to re-enter the long-distance market.
In addition to New Mexico, 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 FCC 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 and Internet, as well as local services and 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 New Mexico residents could save $65 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, 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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