TUCSON, Ariz., February XX, 2002 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband communications company, announced completion of a $3.5 million upgrade in its Tucson Southeast Central Office that will accommodate greater call capacity and allow improved service for its customers. The new digital switch is significantly faster and more efficient than the switch it replaces and is part of Qwest?s ongoing effort to expand and improve Arizona?s voice and data communications network as it prepares to re-enter the long-distance business.
?These improvements are one more indication that Qwest is committed to the community and investing in the future of Arizona,? said Teresa Wahlert, Qwest regional vice president and vice president of policy and law for Arizona.
The state-of-the-art digital switching system is equipped with sophisticated features and services that will help facilitate eventual deployment of high-speed Internet service, ISDN, in the area. The new upgrades also provide built-in redundancy for calls in and out of the area. Customers in southeastern Tucson with the prefixes 574, 663, and 664 will be served by the new switching system.
Additionally, Qwest is in the final stages of its effort to enter the long-distance business in Arizona. Qwest?s long-distance re-entry will save customers in Arizona more than $189 million annually, or an average of more than $78 per residential customer, according to a study by Professor Jerry A. Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Telecommunications Economics Research Program. After Qwest is approved to re-enter the long-distance business, the company will be able to provide customers with a real competitive choice for long-distance service, as well as offer bundled services and the convenience of a single bill.
In January, Qwest announced strong customer service improvements in Arizona and throughout its 14 Western states in 2001 in key areas of installation and repair for residential and small-business customers. The service data for 2001 showed the best results in seven years in key areas:
- Nearly 99 percent of customer installation commitments were met on time ? the best annual results in six years;
- Repair commitments were met nearly 95 percent of the time ? the best annual results in six years;
- Repeat repairs decreased by 16 percent from a year ago;
- Qwest repaired nearly 88 percent of all service outages in Arizona in 24 hours or less ? an improvement of nearly 22 percent over the same time a year ago ? the best annual results in seven years;
- Complaints to the Arizona Corporation Commission decreased by nearly 40 percent over the previous year;
- At the end of December 2001, the number of Arizona customers who had been waiting more than 30 days for the installation of their first telephone line reached the lowest level on record.
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 Communications International Inc. (together with its affiliates, ?Qwest?, ?we? or ?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: potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of Qwest?s stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete; changes in demand for our products and services; the duration and extent of the current economic downturn; adverse economic conditions in the markets served by us or by companies in which we have substantial investments; 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 our business, delays in our ability to provide interLATA services within our 14-state local service area; 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, and difficulties in combining the operations of the combined company. This release may include analysts? estimates and other information prepared by third parties for which we assume no responsibility. We undertake 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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