DENVER, April 15, 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 New Mexico, Oregon and South Dakota. Qwest provides local service to nearly 2.6 million customer lines in those states. With today?s action, Qwest has FCC approval to offer long-distance service everywhere in its local service territory except for Minnesota and Arizona.
?This is a great day for millions of our customers in New Mexico, Oregon and South Dakota and a great day for Qwest,? said Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president of public policy. ?Now 12 of the 14 states where we provide local service are approved to offer long-distance service. It?s only a matter of time until we can offer long-distance service everywhere in the United States.?
Qwest will launch its long-distance calling plans in the three states in the coming weeks. Soon, customers in New Mexico, Oregon and South Dakota can take advantage of plans designed to meet specific customer calling needs. Qwest already provides long-distance services in nine states in its local service territory and it filed an application with the FCC for Minnesota on March 28, 2003. With Qwest?s new long-distance offerings, the company 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.
?The availability of long-distance will allow us to provide our customers in New Mexico, Oregon and South Dakota with a full suite of services to stay in touch with family and friends,? said Annette Jacobs, president of Qwest consumer markets group. ?We?re proud to re-enter the long-distance market, and look forward to providing our customers with the savings, service and convenience they have come to expect from Qwest.?
Qwest has 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. An FCC decision on Qwest?s Minnesota application is due by June 26, 2003. Qwest plans to file a similar application for long-distance authority in its final state, Arizona, within the next few months.
?We commend the FCC and the New Mexico, Oregon and South Dakota state commissions for their comprehensive and exhaustive reviews of our long-distance applications,? 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 local service territory could save more than $1 billion 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 50,000-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.
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