FierceTelecom: Qwest is also being aggressive with its Ethernet roll out. Is it a core part of your business service portfolio and service strategy?
Ancell: Ethernet is absolutely a core service. You probably saw that Qwest rolled Ethernet in about 750 cities this year. Now we have more than 1,000 cities where we have Ethernet capability and that continues to be a strong demand space for customers.
Fierce Telecom: Staying with the "demand for bandwidth" and "solving business problems" themes, are you seeing more demand for Ethernet from specific market segments, such as medical for remote health care?
Ancell: The Colorado Telehealth network is one where we do see health care as one of the big drivers around Ethernet and bandwidth requirements. Qwest has a big focus on the health care space. We look at remote services in remote areas, how they connect those services into larger facilities, and you have remote imaging. Health care is one of those areas where we continue to see a lot of demand.
Fierce Telecom: So, what can we expect from Qwest BMG for the rest 2009 and going into 2010 in terms of new services and initiatives?
Ancell: Qwest announced its 100 Gbps Ethernet-based service with vendor partner Alcatel-Lucent. We also announced a managed service relationship with IBM around managed services, which is another area where we continue to see pretty strong customer demand. This customer demand is around assisting them with running some of those things that are not core to their business, particularly focused around the middle and small business part of the market.
Qwest has a focus with that managed service into that space specifically which is one where we see a lot of demand from any industry, including auto dealers and others. These are good sized businesses that are saying, "managing this stuff is not core to what we do." The other place you'll probably see an announcement will be around hosting.
FierceTelecom: In addition to hosting, are you seeing demand for hosted IP services? Will that be part of the hosted environment?
Ancell: We have hosted call center-type applications that we put in the cloud right now. That continues to be again in the middle part of the market those applications that move the onus from the customer. It's an extension of the managed services play so Qwest continues to look for those application areas where customers can get out of the business of managing it themselves, particularly areas that are not core for them, and have us do it for them. Hosted call centers is one and hosted VoIP services is another.
FierceTelecom: Qwest obviously has network reach throughout the U.S. Do you think that gives you an advantage over your competition?
Ancell: That one is a huge point. I would emphasize over and over, Qwest provides a top quality national network that services customers. We continue to add new customers on that national network. Ninety-five percent of Fortune 500 companies are using services off that network. That national network is key to things to what we do with customers.