FCI Forges Global Network Pact with Qwest Agreement Includes $25 Million Purchase to Bolster FCI's US Backbone

WASHINGTON (ots-PRNewswire) - In a deal that propels FaciliCom International (FCI) into the forefront of the international long distance market, FCI today entered into an agreement with Qwest to utilize one another's network for the transmission and termination of high volume, global, public switched network (PSN) traffic.

Under terms of the agreement, FCI will obtain OC-3 capacity on the Qwest Macro Capacity(SM) Fiber Network between the following FCI international gateway facilities: London-New York; New York-Miami; and New York-Los Angeles. In addition, FCI's high-volume traffic originating in Europe and other destinations around the world will be terminated throughout the United States by Qwest, while Qwest's U.S. outbound traffic will be terminated by FCI in Europe.

"Our agreement with Qwest signals the emergence of FCI as a powerhouse in the new global telecommunications environment," said Walt Burmeister, president of FaciliCom International. FCI, with the addition of Qwest's domestic fiber capacity, offers carriers a truly global service with complete end-to-end transmission connectivity comparable to any other network system in the world."

"The Qwest fiber network provides the high-speed, high-bandwidth and high- quality service that's necessary to compete in worldwide telecommunications," Burmeister, added. "With FCI's advanced switching platforms and global network, both companies are prepared to compete with anyone, anywhere in the world."

Agreement Sets Stage For Future FCI Network Growth

FaciliCom's agreement with Qwest has also been structured to allow for the future growth of the FaciliCom global network. The pact is on a 25-year long term basis that will provide FaciliCom with future domestic and transatlantic capacity options to meet the fast-growing demands for its global communications services.

"With FCI on pace to turn up new international gateway facilities overseas once a month for the foreseeable future," said Jeff Guzy, executive vice president for Sales, Marketing and Product Development, "the impact this agreement will have on the FCI network will be significant."

Qwest Macro Capacity Fiber Network

Qwest's planned domestic 18,449 mile network will serve over 130 cities, which represent approximately 80 percent of the data and voice traffic originating in the United States, upon its scheduled completion in the second quarter of 1999. To date, approximately 8,800 miles of the Qwest Macro Capacity Fiber Network are activated, including the transcontinental segment that extends from Los Angeles to Sacramento and across to New York. Qwest is also extending its network 1,400 miles into Mexico with completion slated for late 1998 and has transatlantic capacity to serve Europe.

The Qwest Macro Capacity Fiber Network is designed with a highly reliable and secure bi-directional, line switching OC-192 SONET ring architecture. Upon completion, the network will offer a self-healing system that provides the ultimate security and reliability by allowing instantaneous rerouting in the event of a fiber cut.

New FCI European Facilities Begin Providing Transoceanic Service

FaciliCom has been developing an extensive global network, particularly in Europe, where it has or will have international gateway switching facilities up and in service by the year's end in virtually every country in the EU. Switching facilities in France, Italy and Switzerland are expected to begin service in the near future. And in May, the company acquired its second foreign public telephone operator (PTO), TeleOne, based in Helsinki, enabling FCI to provide additional services and routes to and from Russia and CIS countries.

In the U.S., FaciliCom recently began service from new international gateway facilities in Los Angeles with a point of interconnect in San Francisco, and from Miami, Florida, where the company will base it its principal Americas operations. In Latin America, FCI recently concluded operating agreements with several major carriers, including, CANTV, Venezuela's leading carrier; and with ENTEL in Chile.

FCI's cable holdings include ownership and leased lines over seven submarine fiber optic cable systems that allow FaciliCom to provide end-to-end connections worldwide.

FaciliCom International (FCI) is a member of the Armstrong Group of Companies, which is headquartered in Butler, Pennsylvania. Armstrong is a diversified, privately held group of companies that own and operate cable television systems, independent telephone companies, international telecommunications companies, real estate companies, a residential and commercial security company and various other businesses. FaciliCom is based in Washington, D.C.

Qwest Communications International Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST) is a multimedia communications company and one of the fastest growing companies in America today. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Qwest has approximately 6,000 employees and over 80 sales offices worldwide. With its world-class data and multimedia network, marketing expertise, and customer care and billing systems, Qwest is delivering high-quality data, video and voice connectivity securely and reliably to customers around the world. Further information is available at www.qwest.net

Except for the historical information contained herein, this press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and are subject to the safe harbors created thereby. The Company's future actual results could differ materially from the forward- looking statements discussed herein. A list of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially can be found in FaciliCom's registration statement on form S-4, filed on March 20, 1998, with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

ots Original Text Service: FaciliCom International
Internet: http://www.newsaktuell.de

CONTACT: Jeff Guzy or Ed Remington, both of FaciliCom, 202-496-1100/ Web site: http://www.qwest.net/


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