OMAHA, September 6, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), the broadband communications company, moved another important step closer to offering Nebraska consumers a real choice in long-distance service when the Nebraska Public Service Commission unanimously certified completion of reciprocal compensation, one of the 14 checklist items necessary for the company?s re-entry into the long-distance business. Reciprocal compensation allows a communications company to be paid for completing calls that originate on another company?s network.
?The action taken by the commissioners is another important step on the road to Qwest?s re-entry into the long-distance business here in Nebraska," said Tim Sandos, Qwest vice president, Nebraska. ?It reflects diligent work on the part of the Nebraska commission and clearly demonstrates Qwest's commitment to open its local markets to competitors."
A study by Professor Jerry A. Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Telecommunications Economics Research Program, found that Nebraska residents could save up to $40 million annually in local and long-distance charges once Qwest is allowed to re-enter the long-distance market. After Qwest is approved to re-enter the long-distance business, the company will be able to provide customers with another competitive choice for long-distance service, as well as offer bundled services and the convenience of a single bill.
The commission's order confirmed that Qwest has satisfied requirements for reciprocal compensation as required by the Telecommunication Act of 1996. In the order, the commission confirmed Qwest is now in compliance with the majority of the 14-point checklist items including those dealing with Interconnection, Poles, Ducts, Conduits and Rights-of-Way; 911, Directory Assistance and Operator Services; White Page Directory Listings; Number Administration; Signaling and Databases; Number Portability; Dialing Parity and Resale. Three additional items ? Unbundled Loops, Unbundled Transport, and Unbundled Switching ? have received conditional approval subject to Qwest providing performance data to the commission, which is scheduled to take place in a hearing today. Additional rulings on remaining items are expected later this year.
When Qwest acquired U S WEST, the company had to divest itself of its long- distance holdings in the 14 western states where US WEST provided local service. Under the Telecommunications Act, Qwest can re-enter the long-distance business when it satisfies a 14-point federal checklist for each state.
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 113,000 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, 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.