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EzTel Dials Into Qwest

ezTel Network Services LLC called on Qwest Communications International Inc. Thursday to connect up with its high-speed fiber network.

The four-year contract for Qwest's wholesale services is worth $96 million to the firm, which will provide ezTel with long distance, private line, Internet access, frame relay and ATM services.

Gregory M. Casey, Qwest senior vice president of wholesale markets, said the global communications company would continue its fast-paced growth due to the increased efficiencies etched into Qwest's glass-based network.

"ezTel takes an aggressive, pro-active stance on the provisioning and implementation of its industry-leading communications services," Casey said. "By contracting with Qwest, ezTel will provide its customers the benefits of Qwest's secure fiber optic network to deliver advanced communications services."

Patric Boggs, ezTel president and chief executive officer, provided a rather cryptic response when asked about the company and its goals.

"This is not a destination, but rather a journey, a dynamic journey that will continue to develop and evolve, primarily through our relationship with Qwest, as well as other strategic alliances, partners and acquisitions," Boggs said.

A new generation communications company, ezTel markets non-traditional telecom products and discounted domestic and international long distance services, in addition to discount Internet dial-up access, virtual office fronts, and virtual calling card platforms.

The communications firm undercuts pricing of conventional long-distance carriers with its callback service. Users dial into a callback number and hang up, seconds later a dial tone is rung through to the user, which then dials the long distance or international phone call at a reduced rate.

ezTel bundles its services on one consolidated paper bill or through its electronic billing program. Consumers opting for the e-bill service receive the lowest pricing available on long-distance and international calling plans.

Former SkyTel Paging executive James Palmer currently heads up ezTel's board and is in charge of the company's off beat path selected for competing in the global communications marketplace.

From its headquarters in Mississippi, ezTel has gained international appeal among callers that don't want to pay full price for direct dialing services.