RealTime IT News

Qwest Scores $1 Billion Credit Line For Network Expansion

Qwest Communications International Inc. Monday secured a $1 billion credit line to help finance the continued construction of its nationwide fiber-optic network and to expand overseas.

Bank of America is the lead bank with First Union Corp., Bank of New York Co. and Citibank also participating.

Qwest plans to provide voice and high-speed Internet and data services over its network that is expected to stretch across 18,815 miles. The network is slated for finalization in the middle of 1999 and will provide service to 130 U.S. cities.

"This new line of credit gives us greater financial flexibility to support our rapid growth -- enhancing Qwest's first-to-market speed and keeping the company and its services on the leading edge of demand," said Robert Woodruff, Qwest's executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer.

Qwest also announced it will form a joint venture with Dutch phone company KPN NV to build and operate a high-capacity European fiber-optic network that spanning 9,100 miles that will be finished in 2001.