DENVER, Dec. 3, 2003 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) today received unanimous approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to re-enter the long-distance business in Arizona. Qwest provides local service to nearly 2.7 million customer lines in the state. With today?s action, Qwest has FCC approval to offer long-distance service everywhere in the United States.
?Today marks another strategic milestone for Qwest,? said Richard C. Notebaert, Qwest chairman and CEO. ?Arizonans join millions of other Qwest customers who are enjoying the benefits of real long-distance competition. Qwest can now carry long-distance calls and data communications anywhere in the world, something that?s particularly important to consumers, small business and enterprise customers.?
Qwest anticipates launching its long-distance calling plans and taking Arizona customer orders in mid-December. With its long-distance offerings, Qwest continues to deliver the Spirit of Service through simple pricing, the convenience of one bill and additional savings for customers who purchase a package of Qwest services. Qwest currently provides long-distance service to more than 1.7 million customer lines in 13 states in its local service territory.
In November, Qwest launched business-class voice, data and Internet protocol services to hundreds of thousands of mid-market companies, large businesses and government agencies where it offers local service. Business customers have voted Qwest the best in delivering several critical voice and data services in a recent America?s Network Enterprise User Survey.
?We are extremely pleased to conclude the long-distance re-entry process,? said Notebaert. ?It was a monumental effort on the part of thousands of Qwest employees, in cooperation with state regulators and the FCC, to achieve region-wide long-distance approval in less than 12 months.?
Qwest spent more than $3 billion to open its local markets to competitors and comply with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Under the act, Qwest can re-enter the long-distance business in states in its local service territory once its application to the FCC has been approved.
?We commend the FCC for its comprehensive and exhaustive review of our long-distance application,? said Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president of public policy. ?Today?s approval confirms that our local markets are open to competition, and that we have met the requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.?
Qwest?s residential and business customers in Arizona could save an estimated $189 million annually with Qwest?s re-entry into the regional long-distance business, based on a study by Professor Jerry A. Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Telecommunications Research Program.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 47,000 employees are committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. 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 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: the duration and extent of the current economic downturn in our 14-state local service area, including its effect on our customers and suppliers; access line losses due to increased competition, including from technology substitution of our access lines with wireless and cable alternatives; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to de-lever our balance sheet through asset sales or other transactions; any adverse outcome of the SEC's current investigation into our accounting policies, practices and procedures and certain transactions; any adverse outcome of the current investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver into certain matters relating to us; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by Congress, regulatory authorities, media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; further delays in making required public filings with the SEC; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings, including any adverse outcome of current or future legal proceedings related to matters that are the subject of governmental investigations, and, to the extent not covered by insurance, if any, our inability to satisfy any resulting obligations from funds available to us, if any; potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete including the likelihood of certain of our competitors emerging from bankruptcy court protection or otherwise reorganizing their capital structure and competing effectively against us; changes in demand for our products and services; 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; and changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our 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.
By including any information in this release, Qwest does not necessarily acknowledge that disclosure of such information is required by applicable law or that the information is material.
The Qwest logo is a registered trademark of, and CyberCenter is a service mark of, Qwest Communications International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries.
|Corporate Media Contact