BISMARCK, N.D., September 21, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband communications company, has moved another important step closer to re-entering the long-distance business in North Dakota when the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC) concluded that Qwest has met six of the 14 checklist items necessary for the company?s re-entry into the long-distance business.

?We are pleased with this decision,? said Scott Macintosh, Qwest vice president, North Dakota. ?It demonstrates we are moving closer to the day when long-distance competition in North Dakota brings consumers better service and lower prices.?

A study by Professor Jerry A. Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Telecommunications Economics Research Program, found that North Dakotans could save more than $17 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.

In his concurring opinion to the PSC order, Commissioner Tony Clark credited both the PSC staff and the comprehensive multi-state workshop process for the thoroughness of the review. ?I want to thank the Public Service Commission staff who have dedicated countless hours to this project. Their work, in conjunction with the multi-state collaborative, is ensuring a comprehensive review, ? said Clark.

?Qwest should be commended for substantially acceding to the facilitator's recommended changes. Good faith actions by all parties help to ensure that North Dakotans will gain the benefit of competition in both the local and long-distance markets,? said Clark.

The commission?s order confirmed that Qwest is now in compliance with the following 14-point checklist items: poles, ducts, conduits and rights-of-way; 911, directory assistance and operator services; white page directory listings; number portability: number administration; and dialing parity and data bases and associated signaling. The eight remaining checklist items are currently being reviewed by the PSC through the multi-state workshop process. Additional rulings on those 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 U S 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.

About Qwest

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 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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