For Immediate Release

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Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32

Free Press Urges FCC to Closely Examine Proposed CenturyLink and Qwest Deal

WASHINGTON - In response to the announcement that CenturyLink and Qwest
Communications have agreed to merge, Free Press Research Director
S. Derek Turner
said:

"We will encourage the Federal Communications Commission to take a
very close look at this proposed deal, in order to ensure that consumers
-- not just shareholders -- benefit from this massive merger.

"These two companies serve large swaths of rural America that have
yet to see deployment of high-quality broadband services. We expect the
FCC to closely examine the merged company's commitment to deploying
next-generation technology and their willingness to adhere to open
Internet principles.

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"The FCC should also carefully review how this transaction might
impact the Universal Service Fund, and ensure that if approved, the deal
will place no burden on this already bloated and inefficient subsidy
program.

"This merger raises many questions, and we hope the government is
vigilant in its efforts to get the answers needed to make certain that
this transaction is truly in the public interest."

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

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