DENVER, April 22, 2002 - Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) today hailed the release of an independent report demonstrating Qwest?s excellence in providing wholesale services and support to competitive local telephone companies. The draft final report signals the end of the most thorough systems and performance test ever conducted, subject to the completion of a limited retest of one minor test segment. The release of the final report in late May will allow Qwest to begin filing applications with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for approval to sell long-distance services in 13 states. Qwest expects to receive approval within 90 days of filing each application with the FCC.
?After more than a year of testing and retesting, Qwest has proven that our markets are fully open to competitors and that the quality of our wholesale services is unsurpassed,? said Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president of policy & law. ?We are now a matter of weeks away from filing long-distance applications with the FCC, and customers are that much closer to saving more than a billion dollars a year on local and long-distance services in our fourteen states.?
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. The independent administrator of the multi-state process evaluated Qwest?s performance based on hundreds of measures, which have been agreed to by competitors, state regulatory commissions and their staffs, competitive telecom associations, the test administrator and Qwest. Qwest is the first local phone company to test service quality and systems across multiple states. The regional test will become the standard by which all future tests will be monitored.
Qwest has already completed a separate and comparable systems and performance test in Arizona. Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, the independent administrator of the Arizona test, issued a comprehensive report finding that Qwest has successfully passed testing and re-testing, setting the stage for Qwest to file a long-distance application for Arizona with the FCC in late May.
Qwest has spent in excess of $3 billion to open its markets to competitors and comply with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, including more than $180 million on testing for the multi-state collaborative and in Arizona.
Qwest?s wholesale service quality is comparable or better on key performance measures than that of Verizon and SBC Communications, whose long-distance applications for New York, Texas and nine other states have been approved by the FCC. Nearly 94 percent of the key wholesale performance indicators that Qwest measures monthly to support its re-entry into the long-distance business meet or exceed either the benchmark standard or are at parity with retail measurements.
Qwest?s long-distance re-entry will save residential and business customers in-region more than $1 billion annually, or approximately $70 to $170 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 another choice for long-distance service, as well as offer bundled services and the convenience of a single bill.
A report by Consumer Action, an independent consumer non-profit organization, found that long-distance rates are increasing everywhere except in states where the local telephone provider has been approved to offer competitive long-distance services. The study found that consumers in these states were offered rates for basic service plans that were up to 66 percent lower than the big long-distance companies? plans.
When Qwest acquired U S WEST, the company had to divest itself of its long-distance operations in the 14 western states where U S WEST provided local service. Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Qwest can re-enter the long-distance business once its application to the FCC has been approved.
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 assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. 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 (the ?SEC?), 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; any adverse outcome of the SEC?s current inquiries into Qwest?s accounting policies, practices and procedures; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by regulatory authorities, media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; 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; our future ability to provide interLATA services within our 14-state local service area; 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; 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; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings; and changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included by Qwest in its 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.
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