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Qwest Signs $122M Contract With Electric Lightwave

Qwest Communications International Inc. today announced it entered into a nine-year, $122 million carrier agreement with integrated communications provider Electric Lightwave Inc. (ELI).

Terms of the contract call for Qwest to provide private line services for ELI's expanded Internet backbone and data services on the nationwide Qwest Macro Capacity Fiber Network.

Vancouver, WA-based Electric Lightwave provides telecommunications services including Internet access to businesses in the western region of the U.S. It is a subsidiary of telco Citizens Utilities which also holds ownership in Centennial Cellular Corp. and Hungarian Telephone and Cable Corp.

Slated for completion by the second quarter of 1999, Qwest said its network will span 18,449 miles across the country, servicing more than 130 cities. Over 8,550 miles are currently activated, including the cross-country area from Los Angeles to New York. Qwest also plans to extend the network 1,400 miles into Mexico later this year and enable transatlantic capability to serve Europe.

"The agreement with Qwest is a bold and significant move for the company which will include establishing regional sales offices across the country and illustrates our commitment to the growing data services and private-line market," said Dave Sharkey, president and chief operating officer of Electric Lightwave. "Our sales staff ramp-up has accelerated as we continue to reach across the nation and execute our business expansion plans."