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Qwest Reportedly Eyeing Long-Haul Network Sale

Is Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q) getting out of the out-of-region and government business? If a breaking story is true, the answer could be yes.

The nation’s third-largest phone company reportedly wants to sell its long-haul voice and data network, which could be worth up to $3 billion, according to Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal. If that is true, Qwest likely would be giving up large chunks of its federal Networx contracts.

Qwest is saddled with $14 billion in debt. That’s a large amount by any measure, but the number seems all the more amplified when considering that fourth-quarter 2008 profit fell by 50 percent. Selling the long-haul network could help to erase some of that burden; in a recession, such a move seems all the more imperative.

And if Qwest does want to sell its long-haul network, the news might be taking some executives by surprise. In February, xchange spoke with Roland Thornton, who said cloud computing promised to be an integral part of the company’s strategy. For that to happen, the long-haul network, “the one with the reach to all these clouds,” would be critical to any expansion.


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