PORTLAND, Ore., February 4, 2003 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) today announced that the self-healing fiber ring connecting northwest Oregon coastal communities served by Qwest is now complete and fully operational.

?Qwest is building a unique network in Oregon, and when the project is finished we will have one of the most wired states in the country,? said Judy Peppler, Qwest president for Oregon.

The northwest coastal ring is the fourth of five fiber rings located in the state of Oregon. This network upgrade allows voice and data traffic to be instantly rerouted in the event of a service interruption, ensuring that no information is lost, and that the connection remains intact. With the completion of the ring, all voice and data traffic in the area moved onto the Qwest fiber ring, further ensuring that residents in northwest Oregon will experience continued reliability.

Qwest completed construction of a southern Oregon self-healing ring in July 2002, a central Oregon self-healing ring in November 2002, and an eastern Oregon self-healing ring in December 2002.

?The completion of the northwest coast fiber loop is a tremendous step forward in technology for our area. We now have a telecommunications infrastructure in place to enhance our further economic development,? said State Representative Betsy Johnson. ?I commend Qwest for their commitment to our area.?

Qwest?s support of the project is a result of Senate Bill 622, passed by the Oregon Legislature in 1999. The bill established a fund in 1999 that made financial support available to applying communities showing a need for increased bandwidth, route diversity and access to advanced telecommunications services for their residents.

Qwest is the only company that elected to participate in the legislation and provided roughly $70 million for infrastructure improvements in exchange for freedom from traditional rate-of-return regulation. A portion of the proceeds generated from the bill also are allocated to equipping nearly every Qwest central office with DSL, bringing high-speed Internet access to both urban and rural areas of the state. Many communities around the state also will receive advanced high-speed data switches with voice mail technology. The new technology, including the completion of one additional fiber ring (for a total of five), will be operational statewide within the next eight months.

As part of the legislative agreement, Qwest also provided $50 million for high-speed Internet connections to Oregon schools and two-way video connections for every Oregon high school, both inside and outside of Qwest territory. Every school was wired and every high school received its two-way video equipment before the end of 2001.

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.


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503-242-8534
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