DENVER, May 11, 2006 - Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) today announced it has signed a new contract with St. Paul-based HealthEast Care Systems, a non-profit health care system that provides innovative technology, care and a full spectrum of family health services. Under the terms of the agreement, Qwest will be the exclusive provider of data, voice and Internet services for HealthEast using Qwest(R) metro optical Ethernet and GeoMax(R) services.

With Qwest GeoMax, a high-capacity data networking service, and metro optical Ethernet services, a metro area networking (MAN) service, HealthEast is connecting five major hospitals in St. Paul, Minn. and 11 clinics in the East Metro area of St. Paul, for voice and data services. One of the key benefits of Qwest metro optical Ethernet services is the ability to increase bandwidth quickly. Qwest recently received certification of its metro optical Ethernet products and services from the prestigious Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF). As one of the industry's first companies to meet the MEF's strict standards, Qwest allows customers the flexibility to select the Ethernet services most suitable and cost-effective for them.

Qwest's voice and data services will allow HealthEast to efficiently secure the transfer of data, image and voice traffic over the same network. Additionally, the redundancy and high-speed bandwidth offered by these services will accommodate HealthEast well into the future and prepare the company for the anticipated explosive growth of innovation in health care technology.

"The Qwest account team's understanding of our business needs allowed them to propose a flexible and comprehensive service to meet our current and future networking needs," said Ron Strachan, vice president and chief information officer for HealthEast. "HealthEast is committed to providing the highest quality healthcare for our patients, and Qwest will continue to help us meet that goal."

"Qwest's relationship with HealthEast has been extremely successful, and we look forward to providing the tools required by HealthEast to meet its patient needs now and in the future, while responding to the ever-changing technological needs of the health care industry," said Tom Richards, executive vice president, business markets group for Qwest. "With Qwest, customers can easily buy and use the next-generation services we offer."

In addition to certified metro optical Ethernet services, Qwest has extensive experience in delivering voice and data solutions to health care providers throughout the U.S. and is the first to deploy GeoMax with Synchronous Service Transport (SST) in the state of Minnesota. GeoMax and SST are Qwest services designed to transport large volumes of information at very fast speeds safely and securely.

HealthEast includes Bethesda Hospital, St. John's Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital and Woodwinds Health Campus as well as outpatient services, clinics, pharmacies and transportation services. HealthEast is the largest, locally owned health care organization in the Twin Cities' East Metro with 6,700 employees and 1,400 physicians on staff.

About Qwest
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), through its operating subsidiaries, is a leading provider of high-speed Internet, data, video and voice services. With nearly 40,000 employees, Qwest is 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

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