Qwest Sets Out VOIP Stall

Qwest eliminates access charges on true VOIP traffic; plans to offer local services to VOIP providers, enabling them to purchase ISDN-PRI

April 27, 2004

2 Min Read

DENVER -- Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q - News) today became the first incumbent telecommunications carrier in the nation to adopt the position that true Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) traffic terminating on the public switched telephone network (PSTN) will be free from access charges. Additionally, Qwest also plans to begin offering local services to VoIP providers that will allow them to serve customers in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

True VoIP includes only enhanced services, as defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Enhanced services require a broadband connection -- such as DSL or cable modem -- and an Internet protocol (IP) conversion of the underlying transmission. True VoIP offers consumers new, innovative telecommunications services, and it does not include standard telephony services that use IP simply as a transmission medium between switches. "With the growing popularity of broadband communications services, we feel it is important to identify solutions that help accelerate the deployment and delivery of VoIP to customers across the U.S.," said Steve Davis, Qwest senior vice president, public policy. "Enabling the broad deployment of true VoIP services -- free from access charges and technology constraints -- is good for customers, good for the industry and it makes good business sense for Qwest."

Qwest will also begin offering new local services to VoIP providers. Qwest will allow true VoIP providers to purchase primary rate interface ISDN circuits (ISDN-PRI). ISDN-PRI is a local exchange service that uses "enhanced T-1" facilities and allows providers to serve multiple channels within a single broadband connection. For the first time, VoIP providers will have direct access to the PSTN and will be able to avoid historically regulated fees, such as access charges.

Qwest Communications International Inc.

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