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Qwest(Qwest Communications International Inc., Denver, CO, www.centurylink.com) Now part of CenturyLink, Qwest is a telecommunications company that offers services to carriers, businesses and homes using an extensive fiber-optic network throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Qwest began in 1988 as the SP Construction subsidiary of Southern Pacific Railroad, laying fiber optic cables for carriers along railroad right-of-ways. In 1991, it became SP Telecom, a subsidiary of Anschutz Corporation (Philip Anschutz owned Southern Pacific).
In the mid-1990s, SP Telecom acquired Qwest Transmission, Inc., a digital microwave carrier and subsequently changed its name. It also began leasing fiber to carriers. In 1998, it introduced retail long distance service in selected cities at 7.5 cents per minute, a breakthrough price at that time.
In 2000, Qwest took a giant leap forward in size by acquiring Denver-based U S WEST, one of the original regional Bell operating companies that served 14 states throughout the western U.S. Qwest claimed its network bandwidth was greater than AT&T, WorldCom and Sprint combined. In 2011, Qwest was acquired by CenturyLink. See Nacchio's law.
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