MINNEAPOLIS, March 28, 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 2.2 million customer lines in Minnesota. Minnesota represents the 13th state in Qwest?s 14-state local service territory where Qwest has filed for approval to provide long-distance authority. On December 23, 2002, Qwest received FCC approval to provide long-distance service in nine states: Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Additionally, Qwest has a long-distance application pending at the FCC for Oregon, New Mexico and South Dakota. A decision on that application is due by April 15, 2003.
?This application is the culmination of years of effort by Qwest employees across Minnesota and throughout the company,? said John Stanoch, Qwest president for Minnesota. ?Minnesota?s local telephone market is one of the most robustly competitive in the nation, and now it?s time for Minnesota customers to have the benefit of real long-distance competition. As customers have seen in other states, Qwest long-distance service, along with Qwest?s Spirit of Service, makes a big difference and is an unbeatable choice.?
Qwest has spent more than $3 billion to open its markets to competitors and comply with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Today?s filing contains extensive evidence demonstrating that Qwest has met all the market-opening and performance requirements of the act. Qwest plans to file a similar application for long-distance authority in its final state, Arizona, within the next few months.
The FCC application includes data from an extensive third-party test of Qwest?s systems and performance that demonstrates Qwest?s excellence in providing wholesale services. The test covered 13 states in Qwest?s local service territory and was conducted by regulators from throughout those states, including Minnesota. 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 in Arizona.
Consumer Savings, Performance Assurance
Qwest?s residential and business customers in Minnesota could save an estimated $130 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. On January 7, 2003, Qwest announced its new long-distance offerings that continue 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 services.
Qwest is supporting its application with a comprehensive performance monitoring and enforcement plan to ensure the service standards for its wholesale customers remain strong. The plan provides individual competitors with payments if Qwest does not provide competitive local exchange carriers the same level of service that it provides its own retail operations or if Qwest fails to meet applicable benchmarks standards. Those payments could total approximately 40 percent of the net operating income that Qwest derives from local exchange services in Minnesota.
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 50,000-plus 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: the duration and extent of the current economic downturn in our 14-state local service area, including its effect on our customers and suppliers; 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; 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; 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; 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; 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; 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.
By including any information in this release, Qwest does not necessarily acknowledge that disclosure of such information is required by applicable law or that the information is material.
The Qwest logo is a registered trademark of, and CyberCenter is a service mark of, Qwest Communications International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries.