Qwest Increases Internet Capacity To Ohio Schools

qwest_logo.gifQwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) today announced it has signed a contract with the Management Council of the Ohio Education Computing Network (MCOECN). Qwest will be the designated statewide Internet provider to the Ohio K-12 network using Qwest iQ NetworkingTM, one of the industry's most customer-oriented wide area network (WAN) services.MCOECN represents the collective interest of the 23 Information Technology Centers serving 725 of Ohio's school districts. MCOECN works with legislators, the Ohio Department of Education, the eTech Ohio Commission and school districts to promote the use of technology in enhancing learning and efficient administrative functions in Ohio's schools.

"The contract with Qwest will help MCOECN use existing infrastructure to provide increased bandwidth throughout the network," said Bruce Hawkins, chief executive officer, MCOECN. "We are excited to offer Ohio students and teachers alike more advanced technology services at a reasonable cost to the state."

Qwest iQ NetworkingTM, a unique and high-value approach to delivering WAN services that helps customers simplify their networks, will provide Ohio schools with increased bandwidth – allowing the schools to use the same technology to communicate and share data. The contract with MCOECN will provide the schools with next-generation services from Qwest such as iQ Networking while increasing efficiency and adding value to existing communications of Ohio schools.

"The Ohio school system is a longtime Qwest customer, and we are happy to provide new and even more advanced technology services to Ohio students and teachers," said Tom Richards, executive vice president, business markets group for Qwest. "MCOECN was looking for a flexible service that would work with its existing infrastructure at a competitive price, and we are pleased Qwest's services met those needs."

MCOECN recently announced Ohio K-12 schools joined the Third Frontier Network and now, the new Qwest service, will combine with the state's existing educational network to build a faster and more secure infrastructure. All 23 of Ohio's Information Technology Centers and seven large urban districts will soon be connected by a fiber network that will greatly increase the speed of voice, data and video transmissions.

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