Wishful Qwest CEO sees future for landlines

How many of you have gotten rid of your old landline? Plenty, no doubt -- and that's created a pain in the pocketbook for Denver-based Qwest. Still, the firm's CEO, Ed Mueller, isn't ready to toss what was once a centerpiece of the firm's success on the historical scrap heap alongside eight-track tapes and Betamaxes. In a meeting with assorted industry analysts covered by Dow Jones, Mueller acknowledged that Qwest faces escalating losses related to the fixed-line side of things, but he thinks the decline will end sooner or later. "We don't know when the bottom is," he conceded. "I do believe there will be a bottom." In the meantime, he said the business is "bumping along."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

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