REI Gears Up With Qwest Data Communications Services

DENVER, March 17, 2003 ? Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), the nation?s leading retailer of quality outdoor gear and clothing, has chosen Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) to provide advanced data communications. Qwest will help REI ensure its data is secure and reliable, helping REI keep employees, co-operative members and customers connected to each other.

Specifically, Qwest is helping REI diversify its data transport services. With dedicated Internet access (DIA) services and network equipment, Qwest will help REI create secondary pathways for its data to travel in the event of an outage or problem at the primary pathway. REI will also have the benefit of Qwest?s expert technical support, which can trouble-shoot and proactively prevent network issues.

?Qwest?s account team took the time to listen to our needs and develop a solution that actually made sense for us, instead of jamming technology down our throats,? said Ernie Hughes, director of information technology, REI. ?We?ve had an excellent experience with Qwest and hope to continue our relationship.?

REI was founded in 1938 as a consumer cooperative by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality climbing equipment. While anyone may shop at REI, members pay a one-time $15 fee and receive a share in the company?s profits through an annual patronage refund based on their purchases. A portion of REI?s profit is set aside each year for support of conservation and recreation causes. REI has given more than $9 million since 1976 to such efforts around the nation. In 2002, REI awarded more than $1 million for conservation, outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship projects. REI operates 63 retail stores in 24 states; two online stores, and; and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures.

?We?re pleased to have forged this new relationship with REI because it?s right in our backyard,? said Cliff Holtz, executive vice president, Qwest Business Markets Group. ?REI has an excellent reputation for customer service and innovation in outdoor gear, which fits well with Qwest?s ongoing service commitments. "We're excited about the future and the opportunity to help REI deliver high-quality service to its customers."

About Qwest

Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 50,000-plus employees are committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at

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 us 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 but not limited to: the duration and extent of the current economic downturn in our 14-state local service area, including its effect on our customers and suppliers; the effects of our anticipated restatement of historical financial statements including delays in or restrictions on our ability to access the capital markets or other adverse effects to our business and financial position; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to de-lever our balance sheet through asset sales or other transactions; any adverse outcome of the SEC's current investigation into our accounting policies, practices and procedures; any adverse outcome of the current investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver into certain matters relating to us; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by Congress, regulatory authorities, media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; the failure of our chief executive and chief financial officers to provide certain certifications relating to certain public filings; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings, including any adverse outcome of current or future legal proceedings related to matters that are the subject of governmental investigations, and, to the extent not covered by insurance, if any, our inability to satisfy any resulting obligations from funds available to us, if any; our future ability to provide interLATA services within our 14-state local service area; potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete, including the likelihood of certain of our competitors emerging from bankruptcy court protection or otherwise reorganizing their capital structure and competing effectively against us; changes in demand for our 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; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; and changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our significant accounting policies.

The information contained in this release is a statement of Qwest's present intention, belief or expectation and is based upon, among other things, the existing regulatory environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and Qwest's assumptions. Qwest may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in Qwest's assumptions or otherwise. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that Qwest or persons acting on its behalf may issue. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties for which Qwest assumes no responsibility.

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