Qwest Communications International Inc. (NASDAQ: QWST) today said it has completed construction of 12,500 miles of its technologically-advanced U.S. fiber optic network and connected 16 additional key markets as it speeds toward a mid-year finish linking 130 cities over 18,500 miles. In addition, 17,000 miles of conduit and 15,000 miles of cable have been installed around the nation.
The new markets where service is being introduced with the Qwest Macro Capacity Fiber Network with global reach are Washington, DC to Charlotte, NC; Albany, NY to Westfield, MA; Atlanta, GA toTallahassee, FL; Philadelphia to Harrisburg, PA; Chicago, IL to Detroit, MI; Indianapolis, IN to Louisville, KY; Topeka, KS to Des Moines, IA; to Bakersfield and Stockton, CA.
"We are continuing to make significant progress in building our network," said Joseph P. Nacchio, president and CEO of Qwest. "In less than a year, we have built about one-half of the newest fiber optic network in the world, completing construction of two thirds of our network in the U.S. Our network is ready now for the explosive growth from business and consumer demand for Internet-based data, voice and image communications as well as traditional voice and data communications," Nacchio added.
In addition to expanding the reach of the Qwest network, significant additional capacity has been added to markets already in service. A total of 1.6 million OC-3 (optical carrier, 155 Mbps) miles were added to the Qwest network in the fourth quarter of 1998. This additional capacity is required to meet the rapidly-increasing customer demand for high speed transmission.
Consistent with building a state-of-the-art domestic fiber optic network, Qwest is partnering with Microsoft Corp. for complex web hosting, virtual private data networks and managed software services. A three-year exclusive agreement between Netscape and Qwest is in place for portal and browser integration, long distance service for consumers and the Netscape backbone network.
Qwest also has a pan-European venture with KPN, the Dutch telecommunications company, to build and operate a high-capacity fiber optic, Internet Protocol-based network that covers 2,100 miles and will span 9,100 miles when it is completed by 2002. Qwest also has nearly completed a 1,500-mile network in Mexico.
This release may contain 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 SEC, 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, dependence on new product development, rapid technological and market change, failure to complete the network on schedule and on budget, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks, Qwest?s ability to achieve Year 2000 compliance, adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment, and satisfactory negotiation and execution of definitive documentation.
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