PHOENIX, September 4, 2003 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) today filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for authority to provide long-distance service to nearly 2.8 million customer lines in Arizona. Arizona is the final state in Qwest?s 14-state local service territory to apply to the FCC for authority to provide long-distance service.
?This application is the culmination of years of effort by our Qwest employees and the Arizona Corporation Commission. Arizona?s local telephone market is one of the most competitive in the nation, and now it?s time for Arizona customers to receive the benefits of real long-distance competition,? said Pat Quinn, Qwest president for Arizona. ?FCC approval of this application is the final step in our effort to offer long-distance service to customers throughout our local service territory.?
Consumer Savings, Benefits
With Qwest?s long-distance offerings, the company continues to deliver the Spirit of Service through simple pricing, the convenience of one bill and additional savings for customers who purchase a package of Qwest communications services. Qwest?s residential and business customers in Arizona could save an estimated $189 million annually with Qwest?s re-entry into the regional long-distance business, based on a study by Professor Jerry A. Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Telecommunications Research Program.
Customers in Arizona will soon enjoy the convenience of having all their voice, data, video and wireless services on one bill. In less than six months more than 1.1 million in-region customers have signed up for Qwest long-distance service. Qwest residential customers have been particularly responsive to the Qwest Preferred Unlimited Plan, which includes unlimited direct dialed long-distance service for only $20 per month for the first 12 months when purchased with a Qwest bundle of services.
Qwest has invested more than $3 billion to open its markets to competitors and comply with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Today?s filing contains extensive evidence that demonstrates Qwest has met all the market-opening and performance requirements of the act. The FCC must issue a decision on Qwest?s application by December 3, 2003. Qwest discussed its intention to file its FCC application with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) at its August 21, 2003, open meeting and the ACC expressed no objection to the filing schedule. The ACC will send its recommendation to the FCC within the next 20 days.
Qwest?s Arizona application includes data from an extensive third-party test of Qwest?s systems and performance that demonstrates Qwest?s excellence in providing wholesale services. A test focusing on Arizona operations and support systems was conducted by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and the ACC. During the test, tens of thousands of transactions were monitored to confirm Qwest?s ability to facilitate orders, installation, repair, billing and other services ordered by competitive local telephone companies. Qwest has also passed a separate and comparable systems test that was conducted collaboratively by regulators from the other 13 states in its territory.
Local phone service competition in Arizona is strong, underscoring that Qwest has met FCC requirements for its application:
- The company estimates, based on an extensive analysis of competitive activity in Arizona, that competitors have captured approximately 21 percent of the local phone market ? a greater percentage than New York or Texas had at the time local phone companies there received FCC approval to offer long-distance service;
- The ACC has approved 118 wireline and resale interconnection agreements between Qwest and competitors;
- Qwest has processed more than 235,000 orders from Arizona competitors in the past 12 months.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 49,000 employees are committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. 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 us 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 but not limited to: unanticipated delays in completing the process of our restatement of historical financial statements and related audits; the duration and extent of the current economic downturn in our 14-state local service area, including its effect on our customers and suppliers; access line losses due to increased competition, including from technology substitution of our access lines with wireless and cable alternatives; the effects of our anticipated restatement of historical financial statements including delays in or restrictions on our ability to access the capital markets or other adverse effects to our business and financial position; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to de-lever our balance sheet through asset sales or other transactions; any adverse outcome of the SEC's current investigation into our accounting policies, practices and procedures and certain transactions; any adverse outcome of the current investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver into certain matters relating to us; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by Congress, regulatory authorities, media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; the failure of our chief executive and chief financial officers to provide certain certifications relating to certain public filings; further delays in making required public filings with the SEC; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings, including any adverse outcome of current or future legal proceedings related to matters that are the subject of governmental investigations, and, to the extent not covered by insurance, if any, our inability to satisfy any resulting obligations from funds available to us, if any; our future ability to provide interLATA services within our 14-state local service area using our proprietary telecom network assets (as opposed to on a switched access basis); potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete including the likelihood of certain of our competitors emerging from bankruptcy court protection or otherwise reorganizing their capital structure and competing effectively against us; changes in demand for our products and services; 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; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; and changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our significant accounting policies.
The information contained in this release is a statement of Qwest's present intention, belief or expectation and is based upon, among other things, the existing regulatory environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and Qwest's assumptions. Qwest may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in Qwest's assumptions or otherwise. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that Qwest or persons acting on its behalf may issue. 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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