MINNEAPOLIS, MAY 21, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband Internet communications company, today announced that its first-quarter service quality data filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission showed that the company met all eight of the Commission?s service quality benchmarks. This marks the first time since the benchmarks were established in 1999 that the company had reached that goal. Qwest acquired U S WEST in June, 2000.
?Achieving such outstanding results didn?t take place overnight,? said Afshin Mohebbi, president and COO for Qwest. ?We have turned our service quality around with remarkable speed and we will continue to improve. Our investment in more front-line technicians, new tools, trucks and equipment and more engineering support is really paying off for Qwest?s customers.?
In Minnesota, Qwest?s service data at the end of the first quarter 2001 showed:
- Qwest repaired 95 percent of all service outages in Minnesota in 24 hours or less ? an improvement of 16 percent from the first quarter 2000
- Installations of specially engineered circuits and facilities ? primarily for large-businesses ? improved by 22 percent over the first quarter 2000
- More than 92 percent of customer calls to customer care centers were answered within 20 seconds ? a 20 percent improvement over the first quarter 2000
- At the end of March, the number of customers who had waited more than 30 days for the installation of their first telephone line had decreased by 40 percent from the first quarter 2000
?Improving customer service is the number one priority for Qwest ? from our CEO to every one of the more than 7,000 Qwest employees in Minnesota,? said John Stanoch, Qwest?s vice president for Minnesota. ?It?s also a key component of Qwest?s plan to gain approval from the Federal Communications Commission to again offer long-distance services in Minnesota. ?
Qwest is making rapid progress toward that goal. Competitors in Minnesota now have easy access to 87 percent of Qwest?s customers through equipment they have co-located in Qwest facilities.
?Qwest is working hard in Minnesota every day to provide best-in-class service,? said Stanoch. ?Customers can expect that same level of commitment once we?re allowed to re-enter the long-distance market.?
Qwest recently announced that it had begun region-wide independent testing of its operational support systems (OSS), a critical checklist item. Thirteen of the states in Qwest?s local service area, including Minnesota are participating in the test. The fourteenth state, Arizona, is conducting its own test separately. Both tests should end in mid-summer. Qwest expects to file with the Federal Communications Commission an application for approval to offer long-distance services in one state by late summer and to file applications for the remaining states by late 2001.
Qwest's dramatic service quality improvements benefit all Minnesotans and are integral to the planned sale of 43 greater Minnesota exchanges to Citizens Communications. Public hearings related to the exchange sale concluded on Friday, May 18, 2001. Under the terms of a 1999 agreement between U S WEST and Citizens, the company needs to demonstrate substantial compliance with service quality measures. With Qwest's strong first quarter results, substantial compliance has now been achieved.
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 106,000 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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