What about telecommunications and testing?

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My question is this: since the telecommunications industry has indicated they cannot put their tested systems into production because the obvious problems this would cause, when do they intend to put their systems into production? What effect will this have on the utility industry? Why won't the the telecommunications industry allow independent verification of their tested y2k compliant systems? Thanks

-- lisa_in_cedar (efchange@hotmail.com), April 14, 1999


Where did you hear this? What obvious problems? We have put our tested systems back into production and we do have independent verification of our systems. There has been an industry wide test, look it up in the archives.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), April 14, 1999.


Might you provide the forum with a link to the documentation of the nationwide telecommunications interoperability confirmation results...for dissemination? I, among others, would be highly interested in passing along this information.


Charles R.

-- Charles R. (chuck_roast@trans.net), April 14, 1999.

Maria: end-to-end testing? Can't be done...Koskinen himself said it at the last NERC briefing. I was there...


-- Scott Johnson (scojo@yahoo.com), April 14, 1999.

The Telco Year 2000 Forum at http://www.telcoyear2000.org/ has a March 3, 1999 press release and reports about the industry's interoperability testing conducted in the last half of 1998.

Click on "Obtain Interoperability Test Documents", and read and acknowledge the disclaimer, to get to the "Purchase Interoperability Test Documents" list. Most of them cost $50.00, but the Forum Final Report and Bellcore Generic Final Report (SR-4541) are free. I got those two freebies -- they seem well-written, and I recommend them to techies.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 15, 1999.

NOTE: Those reports are in PDF format and are significant fractions of a megabyte large.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 15, 1999.


Scott in correct and that is exactly what I am talking about. I read it from several sources(I wish I would have kept them handy) but end to end testing(ie USWEST to BELL Atlantic) cannot be performed. Most of their systems will remain in a testing enviroment until Dec 31,1999. DO you see a problem here? Also, have you read the SBC web y2k site confirming that no INDEPENDENT verification will take place. Is your project being reviewed by outside auditors? http://www.sbc.com/News/y2k.html#Welcome QUESTION: Is your project being reviewed by outside auditors? ANSWER: No. However, our project is reviewed by internal auditors on a regular basis.

Who is watching the watchers?

-- lisa_in_cedar (efchange@hotmail.com), April 15, 1999.

lisa, the statement the systems cannot be end-to-end tested does not imply the systems will remain in testing until Dec 31, 1999, and not reimplemented into production.

I think what is being said is that, unlike many of the power plant tests, the live telecommunication systems cannot be rolled forward to a rollover date, without causing extreme harm to the current operations. This does not say, however, that systems cannot be lab tested and reimplemented.

It is basically analogous to IT systems work. You can test in a test environment, trying to duplicate production as much as possible, but cannot actually roll forward production systems to the rollover date to perform "live" testing.

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-dejanews.com), April 15, 1999.

Following Links:

Y2K Network Testing Finds No Anomalies

Also, see this report at ATIS:

Executive Summary

Note: be warned, the above is a 12MB file for download.


WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 14, 1999-- The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) released today a final report of Year 2000 (Y2K) interoperability testing conducted by the ATIS-sponsored Internetwork Interoperability Test Coordination (IITC) Committee and its subcommittee, the Network Testing Committee (NTC).

The report provides details of NTC Phase 11 testing conducted over six weeks on the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). No Y2K-related anomalies were discovered during the testing.

The interoperability testing focused on call processing, mass calling events and potential congestion, cross network services call completion (credit card/calling card validation, toll-free service), rollover to Year 2000 in a Local Number Portability (LNP) environment, impact of time zones, Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) and wireless to wireline call completion network impacts.

Key rollover dates tested were: Dec. 31, 1999 to Jan. 1, 2000; Feb. 28, 2000 to Feb. 29, 2000; Feb. 29, 2000 to March 1, 2000; and Dec. 31, 2000 to Jan. 1, 2001.

Phase 11 testing results indicate that the PSTN's congestion control measures are prepared for the first ``mass calling'' event of the next millennium -- the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, a time when a higher than usual volume of telephone and network usage is anticipated.

Testing also determined that GETS -- a communications service administered by the federal government that serves as a back up to the PSTN in times of natural disaster, will not experience interoperability problems related to the Year 2000 date rollover.

Interaction of wire and wireless networks was examined in Phase 11 testing scenarios developed in cooperation with the Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA). Again, no anomalies were discovered.

The IITC and the NTC are telecommunications forums sponsored by ATIS in which service providers, vendors, and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment cooperatively address network reliability concerns of interconnected service providers.

While many vendors have conducted extensive Y2K readiness testing on their own telecommunications products, the industry determined that there was a need to test the internetwork interoperability of different service providers and vendors' equipment in a Y2K environment through the IITC and its NTC subcommittee.

The following companies donated laboratory resources for the testing: Aerial Communications; AirTouch Communications; Ameritech; AT&T; AT&T Wireless; Bell Atlantic Mobile; BellSouth Cellular; Sprint; and GTE. Equipment used in the testing was made available by Ericsson, Hughes/Alcatel, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nokia, NORTEL Networks, and Telcordia Software Solutions.

Other contributing participants included the National Communications System (NCS), PrimeCo Personal Communications, and CTIA.

Copies of the Phase 11 Test Report can be ordered by calling ATIS at 202/628-6380. For additional information contact Nancy Pierce at 202/434-8824 or via e-mail at npierce@atis.org.

The IITC and NTC are two of many open industry forums and committees within the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) that is defining standards and operating procedures for the telecommunications industry.

Nearly 2,500 experts from 500 companies participate in ATIS committees, whose work ranges from developing United States network interconnection standards to operating guidelines for network testing. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) frequently refers operations issues to ATIS committees for recommended solutions.

Members of ATIS and committee participants include, but are not limited to, telecommunications service providers, manufacturers, software developers, resellers, enhanced service providers, and providers of operations support. ATIS committees also address bar coding for inventory of telecommunications products and implementation agreements for SONET networks, among others.

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-dejanews.com), April 15, 1999.

Thanks Hoff.

Lisa, "QUESTION: Is your project being reviewed by outside auditors?" ANSWER: YES BY OUTSIDE INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS WELL VERSED IN Y2K. Can I make it more plain than that? Not at liberty to say who and how much it's costing us. BTW I work for MCI.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), April 15, 1999.


This is my point. The telecommunications industry is testing its fixed systems in a "test enviroment" As you can see by hoff's article. My question is when do ALL the telecommunications companies put ALL their fixed systems sitting in the test enviroment into a LIVE enviroment? dec 31,1999? I for one used to work for MCI and I know they are way behind in their efforts. I know they were looking for at least 10 Y2K project manager as of the first of the year. I know of many individual in project management with no IT experience are now working on Y2K projects. I have talked to many people actually working on different project within MCI and their main concern is not being suited by the damn lawyers. Care to tell up how far behind MCI is now? I know you cannot share the information contained within MCI Intranet about major systems that were still in the inventory stage.

-- lisa_in_cedar (efchange@hotmail.com), April 15, 1999.

This is on another thread entitled Fortune 500 something something.

I have here a copy of the Year 2000 3-22-99 issue. Martin Weiss who gives an independent rating of insurance company, banks & latest fortune 500 companies in terms of their Y2K remediation, reported that ,"30% of the Fortune 500 companies are behind in their efforts to meet the January 1, 2000 deadline...The Weiss Y2K ratings are not taken from happy-sounding press releases or unintelligible legal statements. They are based on each company's Y2K budgets and Y2K expenditures submitted with its quaterly filings to the SEC."

Here are just a few of Weiss rating based on their 9-98 statements ( year 2000 Alert 3-19-99):

GM- below average Intel- low

United Airlines- low

AT&T-below avg

Carolina Power-below avg

El Paso Natural Gas- below avg

Gateway 2000- below avg

MCI- below avg

Motorola-below avg

Northeast utilities-below avg

Pfizer-below avg

PG&E-below avg (no surprise here!)

Unocal-below avg

Weyerhaeuser-below avg.

-- Raymond Kwong (kcorner67@hotmail.com), April 14, 1999

Now lisa in cedar tells us MCI ain't lookin too good but you've claimed completion for months now.

Maria, which is it and why are these data in such conflict?

-- Lisa in Austin surrounded by Cedar (lisa@work.now), April 15, 1999.

Lisa, I don't have any idea where Raymond found this evaluation. Am I supposed to believe it because Raymond said it comes from a good source?

Lisa in Cedar, I suspect that the reqs you saw were for the Worldcom systems that have now come under MCI. I'm not familiar with them but I understand that Worldcom did not have a good handle on Y2K. Some systems are duplicated and I don't believe they (the big guys) have decided which systems go and which stay. But these are the ones that are behind.

We have a remediation process which all the apps must follow. When a new PM comes in, they are trained in this process and the requirements for our due diligence documentation. Contrary to what you may believe, project managers do not need any IT experience to be PMs.

You are absolutely right; the lawyers have a say about everything we do for Y2K. Personally, I think the IV&V stuff is unnecessary and costly but we're doing it just to apease the risk mitigation gods.

Our critical systems are done (remediated and system tested); our non critical systems are ahead of or on schedule to finish 4/30. Once an app is "done", it goes back into production. We continue to make releases also, while through configuration management we track changes to ensure continued compliancy. End-to-end testing and integration testing scheduled to finish by mid year.

If you worked on projects you understand that you do not test in a live environment. I have seen tests in live environments through partitioning and it has lead to more problems than its worth. To conduct Y2K tests in a live partitioned environment would mean that the clock would need to be rolled forward for one partitioned side only. Most hardware will not accommodate such a configuration. But we have done the next best thing, through the NIRC interoperability testing. You may think this is not sufficient but I think it is an amazing feat in itself and goes further than any other product testing I've ever seen.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), April 15, 1999.


This was the report only two months ago:

These quotes come from TechWeek's weekly Y2K update; I'll be quoting more from it tomorrow in a report on California's Y2K situation. Needless to say the MCI & Sprint information in this first paragraph certainly caught my eye:

**Readiness of the telecommunications infrastructure is one of those secrets. John Pasqua, AT&T program management vice president of the year 2000 initiative, stated in a news conference Feb. 2 that AT&T has achieved 100 percent repair of its global voice, data network and customer billing systems as well as 99 percent of testing. But other telecom giants are still plodding away. MCI Worldcom projects a Sept. 30 date for "deployment of remediation solutions" (that's cutting it close, and it's not clear if that includes testing). Sprint Communications has a "target date" of June-not including testing, according to Y2K Program Manager Martha Lally.

Now you say all the mission critical systems are remediated and testing is complete. It's amazing the speed MCI is putting on this process. Considering many mission critical systems were only identified late last year. I was not talking about Worldcom being behind I was talking about MCI. MCI fired many program managers in the spring of 1998 that were working on Y2K projects as Mr North reported. MCI has been more worried about making money off its mergers plans than Y2K. Y2K was not even on the radar screen for MCI until late last year.

-- lisa_in_cedar (efchange@hotmail.com), April 16, 1999.

Sorry, Lisa but you don't know what you're talking about. MCI starting working on Y2K in January 1997 through their child company Systemhouse and an organization called the PMO. I joined SHL in Oct of 97 and MCI "fired" SHL in March of 98. I was one of the many PMs that went over to the MCI side, however the PMO remained as an organization now within MCI. Don't try to hand me one of your reports about MCI, I know first hand what's going on.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), April 16, 1999.

lisa, these ratings are based purely on SEC filings, from September, 1998. The information these ratings are based on is over 6 months old.

-- Hoffmeister (hoff_meister@my-dejanews.com), April 16, 1999.

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