Qwest Communications Extends Alliance with Nortel Networks to Invest in Next Generation Optical Internet Solutions

DENVER, June 30, 1999 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. [Nasdaq: QWST], the Internet communications company, today announced it is making a major three-year investment in the next generation of Internet technology to provide customers more speed and accessibility to Internet-based solutions. Qwest will achieve this by expanding its strategic relationship with Nortel Networks [NYSE: NT/TSE: NT] and becoming the first company in North America to deploy the OPTera portfolio of optical Internet technology.

Nortel Network?s OPTera portfolio will help accelerate Qwest?s ability to bring advanced Internet communications services to customers by:

Extending the Optical Internet to the end user, eliminating network bottlenecks and allowing 28 million simultaneous Internet connections on a single fiber;

Increasing the network backbone speed up to 1.6 terabits per second on a single fiber ? enough speed and capacity to transport the entire four-million book collection of the U.S. Library of Congress from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles in less than two minutes through one strand of fiber;
Increasing reliability to 99.999 percent through advanced Dense-Wavelength Division Multiplexing (D-WDM) optical rings in metropolitan areas for scalable connectivity at the edge of the network;
Allowing Qwest to bring new services to market quickly and at a reduced cost.

Nortel Networks latest optical technology also gives Qwest the scalability to quickly and economically handle increased traffic and services to support its acquisition plans. Qwest?s North American network is based on Nortel Network?s industry-leading 10 gigabit per second and D-WDM optical networking platform.

"Qwest is the first company to build the most advanced and comprehensive all-optical network, delivering leading-edge communications services to customers worldwide," said Afshin Mohebbi, Qwest?s president and chief operating officer. "With the addition of Nortel Networks? OPTera solutions, we rapidly accelerate our ability to deliver the next level of Internet-based communications services."

Yankee Group analyst Christin Flynn commented, "Once again Qwest is upping the ante for service providers everywhere by fundamentally changing the economics of the Internet, the speed of the Internet and the accessibility of the Internet with the most advanced optical technology from Nortel Networks."

"Together, Qwest and Nortel Networks are deploying the latest in Optical Internet technology," said Clarence Chandran, President, Carrier Packet Solutions, Nortel Networks. "Qwest was the first service provider to create a network based entirely on a 10 Gigabit-per-second optical platform. Today, Qwest is extending the Optical Internet and all of the exciting services that high speed optics make possible directly to end users."

Over 75% of the Internet traffic in North America is carried over Nortel Networks optical solutions.

About Nortel Networks
Nortel Networks delivers value to customers around the world through Unified Networks solutions, spanning mission-critical telephony and IP-optimized networks. Customers include public and private enterprises and institutions; Internet service providers; local, long-distance, cellular and PCS communications companies, cable television carriers, and utilities.

Nortel Networks? common shares are listed on the New York, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and London stock exchanges. Nortel Networks had 1998 revenues of US$17.6 billion and has approximately 75,000 employees worldwide.

About Qwest
Qwest Communications International Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST) is a leader in reliable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. Headquartered in Denver, Qwest has more than 8,500 employees working in North America, Europe and Mexico. The Qwest Macro Capacity® Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking, spans more than 18,500 route miles in the United States, with an additional 315-mile network route to be completed by the end of the year. In addition, Qwest and KPN, the Dutch telecommunications company, have formed a venture to build and operate a high-capacity European fiber optic, Internet Protocol-based network that has 2,100 miles and will span 9,100 miles when it is completed in 2001.

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, and adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment. 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.

Nortel Networks, the Nortel Networks Globemark, Unified Networks, OPTera, and How the world shares ideas are trademarks of Nortel Networks corporation.

The Qwest logo is a registered trademark of Qwest Communications International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries.

Contact Information
Qwest Media Contact
Diane Reberger
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