Will phones work? Updategreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
BW1254 MAR 03,1999 7:28 PACIFIC 10:28 EASTERN
( BW)(DC-TELCO) Telco Year 2000 Testing Supports Continued Confidence in the Local Telecom Network; Telco Year 2000 Forum LLC Releases Final Report & Test Results
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 3, 1999--Telephone call processing in the U.S. is expected to continue without major disruption in the new millennium according to Telco Year 2000 Forum, a group representing the nation's largest local telephone companies. In its report released today, based upon six months of interoperability testing designed to identify and minimize potential Year 2000 complications, the Forum expressed continued confidence in the ability of the public to place telephone calls at the start of the new year. "After six months of interoperability testing, we remain confident that dial tone will be available on January 1st, 2000. The findings from our testing help us support the initial expectations of our members and principal suppliers -- that call voice and data call processing will continue without significant disruptions during the transition," said Gene Chiappetta, Chairman of the Telco Year 2000 Forum. The Telco Year 2000 Forum was organized in 1996 to share information among local telephone carriers in preparation for the Year 2000. Representing an historic level of cooperation in the telecommunications industry, Telco Year 2000 Forum members agreed to join forces to address the challenge. "Sharing our members' collective resources has also allowed the Forum to be more thorough than any individual telephone company could have been in preparing for the Year 2000," added Chiappetta. The Forum developed testing strategies for key elements that provide services in the local telecommunications network. The testing took place in 20 laboratory environments to simulate network activity and how it might be affected by the Year 2000. The interoperability testing covered many of the types of equipment and software common to Forum members. It also included the ways in which the tested products interact. Shared resources allowed the testing of various configurations and combinations of those products, beyond the scope of the work that an individual telco could reasonably complete. "Telcos are experienced in making substantial changes to the network, such as adding new services, without major disruption," explained Gerry Roth, Vice Chairman of the Forum. "Out of 1,914 test cases, only six resulted in Year 2000-related anomalies. Each of the six was resolved, re-tested and subsequently passed. Our main goal was to test the functionality of date/time sensitive operations to minimize the risk of network or service failures. We believe we have achieved the goal set out in the interoperability testing." The Forum contracted with Bellcore, a well respected telecommunications company, to help the Forum test the interoperability of equipment used to support four clusters of services: emergency services; basic, enhanced, and intelligent services; management systems; and data/transport services. After a year of intensive planning, the Forum conducted testing at 20 laboratories between July 6, 1998 and Dec. 22, 1998. DMR Consulting Group, Inc., a top-ranked international provider of information technology services, managed the Interoperability Testing Initiative for the Forum. The Forum's testing is one component of the effort needed for overall Year 2000 compliance in the telecommunications industry. Other individual companies and other industry groups are carrying out several levels of testing using a building block approach. This multi-layered strategy supports a cohesive and cooperative approach to testing activities and scope beyond the Forum's reach. "We are sharing our results widely, including with other telephone companies, in order to be ready for the Year 2000," said Roth. The Telco Year 2000 Forum LLC is currently made up of the largest local telephone companies, Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, Cincinnati Bell, GTE, SBC Communications, and US West. The Forum's final report and testing publications are available at www.telcoyear2000.org(http://www.telcoyear2000.org/).
Levels of Testing in the Telecommunications Industry
Level Testing Organization Primary Focus of Testing
Level 5 ITU Testing of international (International gateway switches and Telecommunications Union) other network elements Member Companies that enable country-to- country calling.
Level 4 ATIS Inter-network testing of (Alliance for long distance and Telecommunications Industry cellular services, time Solutions) zone rollover, Member Companies congestion and other issues.
Level 3 Telco Year 2000 Forum Interoperablility testing of voice and data network elements commonly deployed by Forum member companies.
Level 2 Individual Telcos Testing of specific network element products & configurations of the member company.
Level 1 Vendors Y2K remediation and testing of products including vendor's own interconnected product configurations.
--30--kms/bos* gk/bos mb/bos sg/bos
CONTACT: Arnold Public Relations Meghan Gross 617-587-8938 Mgross@arn.com or Deb Vlock 617-587-8908 Dvlock@arn.com
-- mary (Mary@telephony.net), March 04, 1999
Sorry, but the question has to be asked: Did Telco test to see how things would work without electricity?
-- Old Git (email@example.com), March 04, 1999.
-- Maria (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 04, 1999.
Mary or Maria,
Could either of you answer my question about BellSouth that's on the following thread?
-- Kevin (email@example.com), March 04, 1999.
Please note the "contacts" in the above:
Arnold Public Relations
Meghan Gross 617-587-8938 Mgross@arn.com or Deb Vlock 617-587-8908 Dvlock@arn.com
Arnold Public Relations
...and ask yourself why they need a PR firm to "spin" the information for them.
-- Jelly Bean (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 04, 1999.
Despite "Troll Maria's" terse answer (sure, they tested, but what were the results?), there is no simple answer here.
At its most basic level, the answer is that no telecommunications will function without electricity, unless you're talking about two tin cans with a string stretched between them.
Our telephone system in the US has batteries for power. As long as these batteries are charged, the circuitry has electricity.
If something prevents the telcos from getting electricity from the grid, many of them have backup sources (in-house diesel generators, etc.) to charge the batteries with.
As long as the telcos can obtain fuel for these backups (or until they run out), they will be able to charge their batteries.
As long as the telcos can find electricity, somewhere, their circuits will work.
The Y2K problems in their software are entirely separate from all of this.
The Y2K problems in their hardware are entirely separate from all of this.
Despite all of their best efforts, the telcos are as enmeshed in the interconnection of our global technology as any other "player".
-- Hardliner (email@example.com), March 04, 1999.
Thanks, Hardliner. Needless to say, a cordless phone won't work after the batteries have run down, either. Telecoms: just a bump in the road.
-- Old Git (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 04, 1999.
Thank you vrey much for the update - it is good news - but must be tempered based on what they have tested so far:
<< The Forum's testing is one component of the effort needed for overall Year 2000 compliance in the telecommunications industry. Other individual companies and other industry groups are carrying out several levels of testing using a building block approach. This multi-layered strategy supports a cohesive and cooperative approach to testing activities and scope beyond the Forum's reach. "We are sharing our results widely, including with other telephone companies, in order to be ready for the Year 2000," said Roth.>>
See - they haven't quite finished yet - the "building block" approach he mentioned is fine - these companies have enough time to do it still, and enough time to recover and repeat when they find problems - BUT this single level of laboratory tests is a step on th eprocess to getting a dial tome next year. It isn't there yet. It is good that they lab tested various simulated equipment - which isn't the same as getting it to run in the field - but will help eliminate future "in field" problems.
The more likely it is that telecommunication will work - judging from this, they may be out for only a little while, very unlikely to be more thatn 1-2 weeks, most likely continuous but spotty service everywhere but threatened most by colateral damage in big cities - the more likely it is that other distributed systems will recover faster.
This includes water, natural gas, some sewage, irrigation and flood control, power, satellites, and networked databases.
-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (email@example.com), March 04, 1999.