Des Moines, June 27, 2001 - Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) today moved a critical step closer to re-entering the long-distance business in Iowa and offering customers a real choice in long-distance service. The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) has concluded that Qwest has met six of the 14 checklist items that will allow it to begin providing long-distance service to Iowa customers; conditional on continuing compliance with existing Regional Oversight Committee or Operation Support Systems tests. Progress on the eight remaining checklist items is currently underway at the IUB through a multi-state workshop process.
?We are pleased with this decision,? said Max Phillips, Qwest vice president for Iowa. ?It demonstrates we are moving closer to the day when long-distance competition in Iowa brings customers better service and lower prices.?
A study released last month by Professor Jerry A. Hausman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Telecommunications Economics Research Program, predicts Iowans will save more than $30 million annually if Qwest is allowed to compete for their long-distance service. Customers are expected to save 10-20 percent on long-distance in the first year when real long-distance competition exists.
The decision by the IUB covers six of the 14 checklist items Qwest must demonstrate it has satisfied in order to re-enter the long-distance business in Iowa. The IUB said Qwest has conditionally satisfied a number of requirements toward competition by providing access to infrastructure, white-page directory listings, databases and operator services, and local dialing parity. The Telecommunication Act of 1996 established the 14 checklist items.
?Working closely with the IUB, we believe that Iowa has an opportunity to become one of the first states in Qwest?s operating region to file with the FCC for the right to provide Iowans with another long-stance option,? said Phillips.
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