Telecoms carrier Qwest Communications has revealed plans to build six fibre-optic rings outside its traditional 14-state local service region. Qwest made the announcement at the same time it recorded a 50% fall in fourth-quarter 2008 net profits, and a 3.5% decline in revenues year-on-year at USD3.32 billion. The firm attributed the declines to an increase in taxes and the continued migration of fixed line users to cellular operators. However, the company said it saw business services revenue grow during the quarter and is hoping to augment that growth. COO Tom Richards said on Qwest’s earnings call, ‘Our Business Markets group outperformed the industry with a 4% increase in revenue in the fourth quarter. To continue that growth, Qwest will invest in its IP services portfolio, its managed services offerings and its wavelength and Ethernet footprints,’ including construction of the new fiber rings. However, the plans certainly are not set in stone, as Richards acknowledged the fibre ring construction plan could be one of the cost items Qwest chooses to eliminate if the company had to reduce its spending plans in view of the unfavorable economic climate.