DENVER - April 20, 1998 - (Nasdaq: QWST) Qwest today announced the aggressive expansion of its high speed data networking service offerings. In separate strategic agreements with Cisco Systems and Ascend Communications, Inc., Qwest will offer Remote Access Virtual Private Networking and advanced Frame Relay/ATM services using the Qwest Macro CapacitySM Fiber Network. By leveraging its unparalleled network capacity and TeraPOP (Terabit Points of Presence) network design, Qwest will deploy dual OC-48 backbones with both a Native IP backbone for IP services and a Native ATM backbone for Frame Relay/ATM services. This unique deployment will provide customers with virtually unlimited bandwidth along with industry-leading network speeds and reliability.

Qwest has teamed with Cisco Systems to offer Remote Access Virtual Private Network (VPN) services, a remote dial-in access service connecting off-site employees to corporate host applications in a secure and efficient manner. Cisco will provide Qwest with the reliable, high-performance Cisco 12000 Gigabit Switch Router (GSR) for the VPN network backbone, the carrier-class Cisco AS5800 universal access server for the VPN network edge and the Cisco IOS(tm) software platform for the integrated VPN features. Remote Access VPN is the most recent IP service offering from Qwest, joining high speed Internet access, web hosting and web content services. Qwest?s unique offering allows corporate customers complete control over the number of ports they wish to use (thereby defining their own user-to-modem ratio), while avoiding the costs and time associated with on-site modem pool maintenance. To simplify the customer?s budgeting process, this service is priced on a per-port-per-month basis for local dial service, with a surcharge for toll-free roaming access.

Ascend Communications will team with Qwest to offer Frame Relay and ATM services across their new nationwide backbone network. Ascend will provide Qwest with carrier-class CBX 500 Multiservice ATM switches, as well as the market-leading B-STDX 9000 Multiservice Frame Relay switches. This new network, managed by Ascend?s Navis end-to-end network and service management products, will provide Qwest the ability to offer data services with Service Level Agreements to their corporate customers. With seamless interworking and Quality of Service (QoS) between Frame Relay and ATM, customers will have network connectivity between sites at speeds from 56 Kbps Frame Relay up to 155 Mbps (OC-3) ATM, including 45 Mbps (DS-3) network access for Frame Relay.

?Qwest makes companies? technological transition into the future painless as they migrate from the traditional networking technologies of today, to the native IP networking capabilities of tomorrow,? said Lew Wilks, president of Business Markets at Qwest. ?As Qwest rolls out more services on its activated coast-to-coast network, establishes a significant presence in the European data market and works with Internet2 on creating future data applications, customers will be given an unparalleled choice to merge traditional mission-critical data applications with emerging IP centric electronic commerce services.?

?We firmly believe the VPN product area is going to be one of the most exciting and high growth areas in the marketplace in the coming months,? said Kevin DeNuccio, Cisco?s Vice President, Service Provider Operations. ?Qwest?s market position and service capabilities it is announcing today, firmly establishes them in a leadership position to take advantage of this significant market trend.?

?The combination of Ascend?s Frame Relay and ATM switching technology along with Qwest?s new OC-48 high speed backbone will provide corporate customers with the Quality of Service necessary for today?s real-time data applications,? said Dan Smith, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Core Systems Division, Ascend Communications, Inc. ?We?re very excited to team with Qwest and be an integral part of this new endeavor.?

Qwest?s Remote Access Virtual Private Network services will be available beginning in June with Frame Relay/ATM services to be commercially available by August.

About Cisco

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News and information are available at http://www.cisco.com.

About Qwest

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NASDAQ:QWST) is a multimedia communications company building a high-capacity, native IP fiber optic network for the 21st century. With its cutting-edge technology, Qwest will deliver high-quality data, video and voice connectivity securely and reliably to businesses, consumers and other communications service providers.


This release may contain 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 SEC, specifically the most recent reports on Form 10-Q, 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, dependence on new product development, rapid technological and market change, failure to complete the network on schedule, volatility of stock price, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks.

The Qwest logo is a registered trademark of Qwest Communications International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries.



Contact Information

Qwest Media Contact


Tyler Gronbach


(303) 992-2155


tyler.gronbach@qwest.com