DENVER, November 29, 2001 ? A group representing more than 21,000 Qwest retirees today said it will support the efforts of Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) to re-enter the long-distance business in 14 Western states where it provides local service. The retiree association is supporting Qwest?s efforts because the consumer benefits of long-distance re-entry, including significant customer savings, will help its members and benefit communities throughout the West.
?We support Qwest?s long-distance re-entry because the consumer benefits will help our members and strengthen the communities where they live,? said Nelson Phelps, executive director for the retiree association. ?Our members helped build the telecommunications network in much of the Western United States, and we have every interest in ensuring that the network, and our communities, stay strong into the future.?
?We?re pleased to have the support of our retirees,? said Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president of policy and law. ?We?re coming down the home stretch in our efforts to offer customers a real choice for long-distance service and, with the help of our retirees, we?ll soon be able to deliver savings to our customers.?
The association represents six separate retiree organizations within Qwest?s local service region. It was formed in 1999 with the goal of protecting and enhancing the benefits of retirees. The association has more than 21,000 members among the total 45,000 Qwest retirees. On November 15, the Communications Workers of America, the world?s largest telecommunications union, representing 37,000 Qwest employees, announced that it will support Qwest's efforts to re-enter the long-distance business.
A study by Professor Jerry A. Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Telecommunications Economics Research Program, found that customers in Qwest?s local service territory could save well over $1 billion annually in local and long-distance charges. Additionally, 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 exchange carrier, such as Qwest, has been approved to offer competitive long-distance services. The study found that rates actually decreased in these states.
Recent analysis shows Qwest?s wholesale service quality is comparable or better on key performance measures as SBC Communications, whose long-distance applications for Missouri and Arkansas were recently approved by the Federal Communications Commission. Ninety-three percent of the 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.
Testing of Qwest?s operational support systems (OSS) is making steady progress. The Regional Oversight Committee?s OSS testing process, made up of regulators from 13 states in Qwest?s local service territory, is more than 80 percent complete. 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 risks and uncertainties. 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, 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: 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; the duration and extent of the current economic downturn; 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; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business, delays in our ability to provide interLATA services within our 14-state local service area; 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, and difficulties in combining the operations of the combined company. This release may include analysts? estimates and other information prepared by third parties for which we assume no responsibility. We undertake 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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