RealTime IT News

Qwest Gets Defensive

One reason Qwest fought for MCI was to pad its government customer list.

But just because MCI spurned its advances in favor of Verizon , doesn't mean Qwest won't be doing business inside the Beltway.

The Denver-based telecom today announced a 10-year contract with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), a Department of Defense (DoD) unit that supports the military operations worldwide.

Under the deal, Qwest will provide Web-hosting services from three of its data centers. Systems vendor HP , the lead contractor, is in charge of remote management and monitoring. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The DLA is shifting servers and other equipment to Qwest data centers. Before it was awarded the contract, Qwest underwent a stringent security certification process -- something that could potentially help it win further business from DLA or other federal agencies.

"This is our first opportunity to work with DLA," Claire Mylott, a Qwest spokeswoman, told internetnews.com. "While I cannot speculate on our plans specific to DLA or discuss any ongoing contract discussions, I can tell you that we are always looking to grow our relationships with our customers."

In other Qwest news, executives have reportedly left the door open a crack when it comes to re-engaging MCI shareholders.

Despite his statements last week, Qwest CEO Dick Notebaert told The Denver Post that he would consider reviving the company's pursuit of MCI if MCI shareholders threw out directors who recommended the company take Verizon's lower offer. Notebaert's statements appeared in a story published Friday.

And The Wall Street Journal reported today that Qwest officials have been talking with large institutional shareholders about the Verizon proposal, which will be voted on by MCI shareholders in late June or early July, the newspaper said.

Asked about reports that suggested Qwest could still be interested in MCI Mylott referred to a May 2 company statement that reads, "It is no longer in the best interests of shareowners, customers and employees to continue in a process that seems to be permanently skewed against Qwest."