U.S. phones should fare well in Y2K

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

U.S. phones should fare well in Y2K By Reuters Special to CNET News.com March 30, 1999, 5:15 p.m. PT

WASHINGTON--The U.S. telecommunications system is unlikely to suffer major outages due to year 2000 computer problems, federal regulators said today.

The largest local and long distance carriers will have rid their networks of the so called millennium bug by the second quarter of 1999, according to Michael Powell, a member of the Federal Communications Commission overseeing Y2K preparedness in the industry.

"These carriers are expected to be 100 percent ready including having their contingency plans in place," Powell said at a news briefing. "This means the vast majority of telephone consumers can expect few, if any, Y2K disruptions."

The FCC has also found no widespread problems with emergency response systems that rely on 911 calls, but systems in many areas use complex computers and could experience some problems, Powell said. Such problems could delay 911 response times, he said.

"We think it prudent to expect some delays," Powell said.

Do you want to know more? View story in The Big Picture Go to Message Boards Search News.com

FCC and industry officials said they have sought to conduct wide-scale tests of the phone system, including interactions between different companies and among wired, wireless, and international carriers.

"We have attempted to take that into account," Powell said. "We have tried wherever possible to test those interconnections."

The millennium bug could arise in computers that were not programmed to process dates correctly after Dec 31, 1999. Some software tracked only the last two digits of the year and could treat the year 2000 as 1900, causing system crashes and unforeseen errors.

FCC chairman William Kennard said his agency was seeking to minimize disruptions by focusing on the most important functions of the communications infrastructure.

"If people are not able to watch their favorite bowl game, it will be an inconvenience," Kennard said. "If the financial system crashes, it will be a major disaster."

Small carriers, that altogether serve fewer than one in 10 customers, could have more serious problems, however. FCC officials noted that while large carriers like AT&T are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to eliminate bugs, smaller carriers have less access to capital.

"This is obviously of concern to us and we will be redoubling our efforts," Powell said.

The FCC has also had difficulty estimating the readiness of wireless carriers because many companies failed to respond to the agency's queries about Y2K issues.

"We must acknowledge a certain degree of risk with this industry until we are able to assess a broader portion of the industry," Powell said.

-- Sissyman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 31, 1999


Funny. Is this the start of the DiEtER party, switching Y2K Pro and my point of view?????????? <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 31, 1999.

As long as I keep hearing words like "should" and "looks" ready and "expect", I remain unconvinced that anything is really solved.


-- @ (@@@.@), March 31, 1999.

PS sissyman, you forgot to sign it (<:)=)

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 31, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ