Qwest Communications Says 45 Competitors Are In Minnesota; No Need To Breakup Qwest

MINNEAPOLIS, April 24, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) today called AT&T?s plan for more government regulation of Qwest?s wholesale and retail operations in Minnesota a desperate attempt to keep long-distance prices high and prevent Qwest from getting approval to re-enter the long-distance business. Since its acquisition of U S WEST, Qwest has never received a complaint from AT&T in Minnesota about the local services it purchases.

?It?s no surprise that as we get closer to getting into the long-distance business, AT&T is trotting out a new scheme to delay that from happening,? said John Stanoch, Minnesota vice president of policy and law. ?This latest scheme is simply a diversionary tactic that ultimately hurts consumers. Minnesotans should see this for what it is.?

AT&T is asking the Minnesota legislature to impose unreasonable ?structural separation,? a regulatory method to break the company into two separate operations, one to serve consumers and businesses and the other to address wholesale customers. AT&T has pressed for structural separation conditions in several states across the nation. In March, regulators in Pennsylvania rejected AT&T?s structural separation proposal after more than two years of studying the issue. AT&T has also supported failed structural separation campaigns in Maryland and Florida.

?AT&T has seen in New York and Texas how real long-distance competition impacts their business,? said Stanoch. ?It?s obvious from today?s announcement that they?re willing to do anything to stop that from happening here in Minnesota.?

Stanoch continued, ?Local markets in Minnesota are open and competition is growing every day. There are 45 companies competing with Qwest here in Minnesota. They?ve taken hundreds of thousands of our customers and each day their capturing more and more market share. Not once since we acquired U S WEST last summer has AT&T complained about the services necessary for it to compete here in Minnesota. Yet here they are calling for the most radical solution to a non-existent problem.?

Following are facts on local competition in Qwest?s territory in Minnesota:

  • The Minnesota Commission has approved 124 interconnection agreements between Qwest and competitors.
  • Minnesota competitors have access to almost 1.9 million of Qwest?s 2.4 million Minnesota customers ? 87% Qwest?s Minnesota customers ? via the equipment they?ve co-located in Qwest?s central offices. In Minnesota, 37 CLECs are co-locating their equipment at 571 sites in 80 central offices.
  • Qwest has processed 130,321 Minnesota competitors? order requests in the past 12 months.
  • Qwest has ?ported? 355,426 numbers in Minnesota ? each line ported represents the conversion of an existing line from Qwest to a facilities-based competitor.
  • In January 2001 alone, almost 722 million minutes of traffic was passed between Qwest?s customers and competitors? customers over competitors? facilities in Minnesota.

On April 10, Qwest announced that it had achieved two significant milestones in its efforts to reenter the long-distance business in 14 Western states. First, region-wide independent testing of Qwest?s operational support systems (OSS) has begun. In addition, the company has completed three-quarters of the state workshop sessions that evaluate Qwest?s compliance with rules to reenter the long-distance business. Fundamentally, Qwest said that it is on target to file its first application with the FCC this summer to reenter the long-distance business in one of the states in its local service area and to file applications for other states later this year and early next year.

Qwest also criticized AT&T for pressing for legislation so late in Minnesota's legislative session. The session is set to adjourn on May 21 and all three committee deadlines for bill consideration have already passed. "This is a public relations ploy pure and simple,? said Stanoch. ?It has no chance of gaining a committee hearing, much less passing this session.?

About Qwest

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 106,000 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.

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