DENVER, December 23, 2002 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) today received unanimous approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to re-enter the long-distance business in nine states: Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Qwest provides local service to more than nine million customer lines in those states.
"This is a great day for Qwest and a great day for millions of our customers," said Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president of policy and law. "We're going to offer our customers simplified long-distance service and the convenience of getting all of their telecommunications services from one company."
Qwest will soon announce details of its long-distance plans and packages and will begin taking customer orders by mid-January. Additionally, Qwest will file an application to re-enter the long-distance business in three additional states, Oregon, New Mexico and South Dakota, in January. Qwest anticipates filing applications for its final two states, Arizona and Minnesota, in early 2003.
"We commend the FCC for its comprehensive and exhaustive review of our long-distance application," Davis added. "Today's approval definitively proves that our markets are open to competition and that we have met the requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996."
Residential and business customers in Qwest's region could save more than $1 billion annually with Qwest's re-entry into the regional long-distance business, according to a study by Professor Jerry A. Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Telecommunications Research Program.
Qwest has spent more than $3 billion to open its local markets to competitors and comply with the act. Qwest provides long-distance services outside of its 14 state local service territory. 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.
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 53,000-plus 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; the effects of our anticipated restatement of historical financial statements including delays in or restrictions on our ability to access the capital markets or other adverse effects to our business and financial position; 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; 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; the failure of our chief executive and chief financial officers to provide certain certifications relating to certain public filings; 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; our future ability to provide interLATA services within our 14-state local service area; 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; 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; 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.
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