WASHINGTON, D.C., February 20, 2003 ? The U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today recommended conditionally that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approve Qwest's application to re-enter the long-distance business in three states: Oregon, New Mexico and South Dakota. Last year, the DOJ made a similar approval recommendation on Qwest?s application for Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Washington, Utah, Montana and Wyoming. On December 23, 2002 the FCC approved that application and Qwest is now offering long-distance service in those states.

The DOJ?s recommendation states: ?Qwest?s application demonstrates that it has succeeded in opening its local markets in New Mexico, Oregon, and South Dakota in many respects.? The DOJ ?recommends that the Commission approve Qwest?s application of long distance authority in these states? as long as the FCC assures itself that Qwest has adequately addressed issues related to the extent of residential competition in New Mexico. The department also suggested that Qwest clarify its position regarding certain claims made by WorldCom.

"We commend the DOJ for thoughtfully evaluating our application," said Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president of public policy. "We strongly believe we are successfully addressing with the FCC the two issues identified by the DOJ and we?re excited about the possibility of giving customers in Oregon, New Mexico and South Dakota the benefit of competitive, low rates for residential and business long-distance phone service. Today's positive recommendation from the DOJ moves us a major step closer to being able to do so," Davis added.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires the FCC to give the DOJ's recommendation "substantial weight" prior to making a final determination on Qwest's application. Qwest plans to file similar applications for long-distance authority in its remaining two states, Arizona and Minnesota, in the next few months.

Residential and business customers in Qwest's region could save more than $1 billion annually with Qwest's re-entry into the regional long-distance business, according to a study by Professor Jerry A. Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Telecommunications Research Program. Qwest has spent more than $3 billion to open its markets to competitors and comply with the act.

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 50,000-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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