Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) announced today it helped the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service prepare for the fire season. Qwest technicians used horses to install the network connections and develop facilities for enhanced customer service and resource management in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona.
Qwest ultimately delivered voice and data services that enable the USDA Forest Service to link multiple offices via voice over IP (VoIP). The company also developed a 24-hour emergency response team to help the customer with communications through the busy fire season.
Qwest used horses to install the network connections in the area because the Coconino National Forest is home to endangered species and archaeological sites. Technicians also performed the installation in partnership with USDA Forest Service archaeologists and biologists to help preserve these delicate forest resources.
“The Qwest team respected the environment and found a creative way to make the installation of modern communications services work for us despite the environmental challenges,” said Doug Denk, USDA Forest Service. “The Coconino National Forest is one of the most diverse national forests with landscapes ranging from the Red Rocks of Sedona, to Ponderosa Pine Forests, to alpine tundra. The sensitive areas we encountered were mountains, canyons, creeks and streams, and we were especially impressed with Qwest’s ‘cable-wrangling’ skills.”
“Qwest has experience delivering service in challenging situations, and this is a great example of what Qwest does for customers in the Spirit of Service,” said Tom Richards, Qwest executive vice president for the business markets group. “We use many nontraditional methods of delivering service to customers – helicopters, snow cats and now horses are all part of our customer service cavalry.”
Qwest also provides voice and data services to other federal government agencies such as the Department of Treasury, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Aviation Administration Telecommunications Infrastructure (FAA FTI). Qwest ranks in the top 50 of the 2006 “Top Federal Prime Contractors” as ranked in the Washington Technology.