DENVER, November 19, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), the broadband communications company, today said that its wholesale service quality is comparable or better on key performance measures as SBC Communications, whose long-distance applications for Missouri and Arkansas were approved Friday by the Federal Communications Commission.
?When you look at similar standards, Qwest is meeting one key metric after another,? said Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president of policy and law. ?Our overall level of performance is already as good or better in our 14-state region where we provide local service than SBC?s successful filings. This analysis, along with Qwest?s progress in completing more than 80 percent of the operation support system (OSS) testing, shows that we?re close to successfully re-entering the long-distance business in our region.?
Before companies like Qwest and SBC are allowed to enter the long-distance business they must demonstrate consistently high scores on specific wholesale performance measures. The FCC then evaluates and approves submitted applications. The measures demonstrate that Qwest is providing non-discriminatory service to competitors as required by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
More than 93 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 standards or are at parity with retail measurements. Compared to SBC?s performance for example, a few of Qwest?s key comparable standards include:
- Qwest and SBC are both meeting their measurements for availability of gateway interfaces at a level of 99 percent or above.
- Qwest and SBC are both meeting their measurements for provisioning commitments to competitive local exchange carriers at a level of 99 percent.
- Qwest and SBC are meeting their measurements for trouble rate which is the percentage of all installed lines that have trouble in any given month. SBC?s is less than 1.75 percent, Qwest?s is less than 1.3 percent.
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 once Qwest is allowed to re-enter the long-distance market. Additionally, a report by Consumer Action, an independent consumer non-profit, 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.
Testing of Qwest?s 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 approximately 80 percent complete and is expected to conclude by mid- to late December.
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 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 potential fluctuations in quarterly results, volatility of Qwest?s stock price, intense competition in the communications services market, changes in demand for Qwest?s 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, rapid and significant changes in technology and markets, adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting Qwest?s business, delays in Qwest?s ability to provide interLATA services within its 14-state local service territory, adverse conditions in the economy nationally and within its territory, 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 timely or at all and difficulties in combining the operations of Qwest and U S WEST. 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.
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