Washington, February 21, 2007 - On Feb. 20, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted Qwest's "forbearance" petition, easing federal regulations of its long-distance service.

In granting Qwest's petition, the FCC recognizes the long-distance services marketplace has changed dramatically since the Telecommunications Act became law in 1996. Consumers today have a wide array of choices in long-distance providers, including cable, wireless and VoIP, all of which offer long-distance services.

The Telecommunication Act's Sec. 272 required Qwest and the other former Bell Operating Companies (BOCs) to run their long-distance operations separately for a period of time under lessened regulation, but even after this period ended, Qwest could not consolidate and simplify its operations without the relief it was granted by the FCC.

The following statement is attributable to Gary Lytle, Qwest senior vice president for federal relations, on the FCC's grant.

"With this historic, unanimous vote, the FCC recognized that competition in Qwest's service territory is thriving. We applaud the FCC for freeing us from legacy requirements imposed on our long-distance service that had hindered our ability to deliver service to customers."

"Consumers benefit from the robust communications marketplace where cable, wireless, VoIP and other long-distance providers compete for their business. Residential, government, and business customers will realize improved services and cost savings as a result."

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