Boise, January 17, 2001 – Boise is host to a workshop this week that will ultimately determine when Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband Internet communications company, can re-enter the long-distance business in Idaho and other Western states. The workshop is the third in a series being conducted throughout the region to determine if Qwest has met federal requirements to get back into the long-distance business.
"Telecommunications can take a big bite out of the household budget or out of the bottom line for a small business. Competition in Idaho will force providers to offer better prices while improving service and offering advanced technology," said Barbara Wilson, Idaho and regional vice president, Qwest. "Whether Idaho consumers choose to use Qwest as their long-distance provider or not – everyone will benefit as a result of the increased competition."
The workshop includes representatives from Qwest, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC), numerous telecommunications service providers including AT&T, MCI-Worldcom and Sprint, and PUC's from 6 additional states (Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming). The workshop is also being monitored by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 sets out specific guidelines that a local service provider like Qwest must follow to get into the long-distance business. Qwest is now undertaking one of the most aggressive and innovative efforts in the telecommunications industry to get approval to offer long-distance services as quickly as possible. Qwest has made great strides in opening its markets to competitors:
- Qwest has invested over $1.5 billion on its systems, network and operations to facilitate local service competition and meet the needs of wholesale customers;
- Qwest has reached historic, market-opening agreements with some of its biggest competitors and just announced the industry's first permanent agreements for sharing its phone lines with four companies to broaden the availability of high-speed Internet and broadband services;
- Qwest has implemented a series of sweeping policy changes for competitive local exchange carriers designed to speed the deployment of competitive services and increase the efficiency of their networks;
- Qwest has dropped nearly 40 lawsuits, filed by U S WEST, that challenged the authority of state regulatory agencies to require interconnection obligations in the area of equipment collocation, prices and the bundling of services.
Once Qwest has received approval from the IPUC it then plans to file for long-distance approval with the FCC. To date, the FCC has granted requests to offer long-distance service to Verizon in New York (December 1999) and Southwestern Bell in Texas (June 2000). In both New York and Texas, surveys have shown that competition has increased, and prices for both local and long-distance service have decreased.
The Boise workshop is being held at the DoubleTree Riverside (2900 Chinden), January 16 through January 19, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leader in reliable, scalable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. The Qwest Macro Capacity® Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking equipment for speed and efficiency, spans more than 104,000 miles globally. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.
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 Qwest 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 potential fluctuations in quarterly results, volatility of Qwest's stock price, intense competition in the communications services market, changes in demand for Qwest's products and services, dependence on new product development and 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, rapid and significant changes in technology and markets, adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting Qwest's business and delays in Qwest's ability to provide interLATA services within its 14-state local service territory, failure to maintain rights of way, and failure to achieve the projected synergies and financial results expected to result from the acquisition of U S WEST timely or at all and difficulties in combining the operations of Qwest and U S WEST. 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. 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.
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