Qwest Communications to Upgrade Energy Department's High-Powered Communications Network

DENVER, March 25, 2003 - Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) today announced that it has been awarded a contract extension to upgrade the backbone capacity of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), a network that Qwest has supported since December 1999. Qwest also will upgrade various ESnet connections to scientific and research facilities throughout the United States. Qwest will upgrade portions of the backbone to 10 Gigabits per second by offering QWave services, which are fully managed, all-optical, high-capacity, economical private line services.

?DOE's demand for bandwidth continues to double every year as remote scientific collaboration among ESnet researchers necessitates the delivery of more data than ever,? said Jim Leighton, ESnet project manager. ?Collaborative research increasingly relies on real-time sharing of high-bandwidth applications, and the network that supports these applications should never be the log jam for scientific advancement.

?We are thrilled to extend our relationship with the Energy Department and to ensure that the collection of top scientists and researchers connected to ESnet are never limited by bandwidth constraints, regardless of their needs,? said James F.X. Payne, senior vice president and general manager of Qwest?s government services division. ?ESnet is continually being upgraded to meet the ever-growing capacity needs of the research community. For example, in 2002 alone the backbone speed was upgraded three times and three-quarters of the access circuits were upgraded at least once. Qwest is there to make sure it?s an indispensable partner on this cutting-edge project.?

ESnet, which will have its entire backbone upgraded to OC-192 in 2005, is funded by DOE to provide advanced networking and communications support to the scientific research programs. Managed from DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., ESnet operates a backbone network connecting more than 35 major research sites. Scientists using ESnet conduct research to explore new sources of energy, understand our genetic makeup, develop new materials, analyze global climate change and study fundamental scientific questions in physics, biology and chemistry.

Qwest is committed to advanced network initiatives, as evidenced by the following projects:

  • Qwest provides the backbone for the Abilene Network, the primary Internet2 network that connects more than 200 colleges, universities and research organizations in all 50 states.
  • Qwest is the network provider for the National Science Foundation?s Distributed Terascale Facility (DTF) Project, the most comprehensive computing infrastructure ever deployed for scientific research.
  • In support of NASA?s Research and Engineering Network (NREN), Qwest provides access to its high-speed Internet backbone, direct broadband local access and comprehensive network operations support.
  • Qwest is the primary provider of network services for the Advanced Technology Demonstration Network (ATDnet), an unclassified Department of Defense (DoD) research network used for development of next-generation communications technologies designed to help transform the way the DoD performs its mission.

About Qwest

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.

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