Qwest Wins Deal for U.S. Mint's Internet Services

Qwest Wins Deal for U.S. Mint's Internet Services

By Jennifer Freer, Staff Writer

APRIL 28 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver announced a multimillion dollar, multiyear contract with the U.S. Mint to host its Internet commerce applications. Details of the contract were not disclosed.

Qwest, the second company to provide Internet services for the agency, will furnish Web hosting, professional services and equipment, as well as data centers and high capacity bandwidth. The U.S. Mint went online in April 1999 with services provided by UUNet, Fairfax, Va., the Internet subsidiary of telecommunications company MCI WorldCom Inc.

"This is an excellent example of how the federal government can utilize commercially available solutions that allow an agency to achieve its mission," said Jim Payne, senior vice president of government systems for Qwest. "Agencies can get the best available technology that is scalable and has cutting edge security and redundancy."

Online sales have brought big business to the U.S. Mint since it began offering its products, some of which are exclusively online, such as the state quarters. The Mint also offers proof sets of coins, golden dollars and commemorative coins for sale online.

Just one month after going online in April 1999, the agency recorded its first $1 million month. The first $1 million week was in July 1999. On Oct. 18, 1999, the Mint had its first $1 million day. And earlier this month, on April 3, the Mint sold $2.7 million in an hour, according to a U.S. Mint news release.

Total online sales for the Mint amounted to $26.5 million for Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 1999. The agency expects to hit $125 million in online sales this year by consistently reaching sales of at least $26.5 million each quarter, said a U.S. Mint spokesman.

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