DENVER, January 27, 2004 - Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) today announced a multi-year contract with The Principal Financial Group, a leading diversified financial services company, for high-speed network services.

The agreement provides The Principal with the capability to meet customers? financial service needs faster. From processing banking transactions and managing online brokerage services to developing insurance and retirement planning solutions for businesses, using Qwest?s high-speed, nationwide network Principal employees can now send and receive pertinent financial information over fiber optic cables that are large enough to transmit more than 4.9 million, five paragraph e-mails in one second.

"At The Principal, we uphold a reputation for stability and impeccable customer service. In turn, we sought a communications provider that would provide us with the same treatment," said Randall Nyberg, director of information services of The Principal Financial Group. "We chose Qwest because their team understands our needs and will meet our demand for growth.?

"With Qwest's continued Spirit of Service and top-notch performance record, our team is able to give The Principal a reliable and secure networking solution," said Clifford S. Holtz, executive vice president of Qwest business markets group. "We know it's important to The Principal to provide their customers with timely financial information and we are committed to helping them meet their customers' requests."

Qwest's network communication solutions allow customers to transport critical information over Qwest's reliable, high-speed and self-healing, nationwide network that helps minimize downtime and improve overall network performance. The Qwest self-healing network service offers the highest degree of enhanced network reliability and is designed to automatically detect a service failure anywhere within the system and reconfigure itself to ensure a continuous flow of information between locations.

About The Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group (The Principal) is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance and mortgage banking through its diverse family of financial services companies.

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 47,000 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

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; access line losses due to increased competition, including from technology substitution of our access lines with wireless and cable alternatives; 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 and certain transactions; 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; further delays in making required public filings with the SEC; 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; 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; 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.

The information contained in this release is a statement of Qwest's present intention, belief or expectation and is based upon, among other things, the existing regulatory environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and Qwest's assumptions. Qwest may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in Qwest's assumptions or otherwise. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that Qwest or persons acting on its behalf may issue. 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.

By including any information in this release, Qwest does not necessarily acknowledge that disclosure of such information is required by applicable law or that the information is material.

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

"The Principal Financial Group" and ?The Principal? are registered trademarks referring to Principal Financial Group, Inc.

Contact Information
Corporate Media Contact
Kathleen Lessman
Investor Contact
Stephanie Comfort