BellSouth & AT&T Complete Successful Year 2000 Testing : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

BellSouth & AT&T Complete Successful Year 2000 Testing

April 21, 1999: 2:11 p.m. ET

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, U.S.A. (NB) -- By Grant Buckler, Newsbytes. BellSouth Corp. [NYSE:BLS] and AT&T [NYSE:T] said they have completed a successful series of tests to make sure their telephone networks will work together properly as dates move from 1999 to 2000. The two companies said their extensive tests give them confidence not only that their own and each other's networks are Year 2000 ready, but that their links with other carriers should work properly as well.

In five laboratories, BellSouth and AT&T set out to recreate as nearly as possible conditions in the public switched telephone network, said BellSouth spokesman Clay Owen. "We don't test on the public switched network," he told Newsbytes.

The tests covered local and long-distance calls between wireline phones, between wireless phones, and from wirelines to wireless. The companies also tested 911 emergency services, toll-free, operator- assisted, calling-card, and international calls. Besides checking for problems as the year rolls over to 2000, tests covered other critical dates including the end of February, when leap-year problems might arise. The companies said the tests, which had run since September of last year, were 100 percent successful.

Neither BellSouth nor AT&T plans tests on the same scale with other carriers. Dave Johnson, a spokesman for AT&T, told Newsbytes that the regional Bell operating companies' networks are all quite similar, so the tests conducted with BellSouth are "a very effective testbed" for determining the Year 2000 readiness of AT&T's links with Bell Atlantic, SBC Communications, US West, and Ameritech, as well as other local carriers.

Owen said BellSouth is always open to further testing, though time is now running short, but believes that the results of the joint tests with AT&T indicate there should be little trouble with other long-distance carriers such as MCI WorldCom and Sprint. The Network Reliability and Interoperability Council, a body concerned with telecom industry readiness for the Year 2000 problem, has said the risk of problems is low in the United States, but much higher in some other parts of the world. Meanwhile, US West disclosed in reporting its quarterly financial results today that it has spent $140 million to date on Year-2000 compliance, and expects to spend another $80 million.

-- Norm (, April 22, 1999


Well this explains why my ATT long distance billing is no longer only being billed directly on my Bellsouth bill but I am also being sent another bill from ATT. Just today on the phone " Tami" assured me that the problem was a computer glitch and she would straighten it out. Last month I got a bill from ATT for long distance for the first time- Billing cycle ended the 13th of April and low and behold I got a bill today for $165.00, $40.00 of which I paid last Month on my Bellsouth bill. "Tami" assured me that the mistake was on their part and the $40.00 had been received from Bellsouth. I'm interested to see what my Bellsouth bill says (cycle ended today) and if there is any duplication w/ATT. I am convinced this mistake is related to their testing and am amazed they claim 100% succesful.

-- Johnny (, April 22, 1999.

Does this mean that BellSouth is Y2K compliant? Their late 1998 SEC 10-Q had BellSouth as one of the least prepared of the Baby Bells.

-- Kevin (, April 22, 1999.


I think it means that their lab is compliant, kinda like the FAA... <:)=

In five laboratories, BellSouth and AT&T set out to recreate as nearly as possible conditions in the public switched telephone network, said BellSouth spokesman Clay Owen. "We don't test on the public switched network,"

-- Sysman (, April 22, 1999.

Well, maybe Miss T. Maria could address this:

It sounds like their lab-lab tests started last September, took until middle of April (reporting now - late April) - and they did back-to-back testing with one other company.

Better than no testing, but now it appears they will be "stretched" to get the whole system "instaled" and operational across their networks so it can get in service. Doesn't that scedule require time to "hook up" with the ALL of the other companies THIS year - who would have to also be y2K compliant. So if they tested with only one carrier - how are they going to get data hooked up to the rest?

Obviously, these "presidential level" people while talking to the non-technical press, aren't going into extreme technical details - but it appears to me that they feel a bit "pressed" for time to finish - even if they skip "testing" with the other big companies.

So when will they "test" their interfaces to the other carriers? Could we see intermittent failures later this year as this conversion takes place?

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, April 22, 1999.

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