Canadian Telecom Group Confident About Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I need some help with this one, but just how does testing in a lab replace actual live testing and I see there is no mention of complete end to end testing? Is something missing here?? I wonder if MCI uses a testing facility for their systems?

A group representing most of the Canadian telecommunications industry has expressed confidence that Canada's telecommunications network and its links to the United States are ready for the Year 2000 rollover. The Canadian Year 2000 Telecommunications Industry Forum reported the results of testing at a Toronto press conference today.

The forum conducted its tests using private circuits that linked 13 laboratories in Canada and the United States, said Alex Giosa, vice- president of network operations for Stentor, the alliance of regional incumbent telephone companies. These labs are normally used for testing new telecom industry products and services before they are released to the public, and so has a "track record" of providing reliable conclusions about the behavior of the public switched telephone network, Giosa told Newsbytes.

In the labs is an assortment of equipment representative of that found in the public network, Giosa said. The forum tested for Year 2000 problems by conducting various types of test calls with the systems set to 12 different dates, including the current date as a control, Sept. 9, 1999 (because its representation as 9/9/99 has sometimes been used for special purposes in date fields in the past), and a series of dates from December 31, 1999 to March 1, 2001, mainly clustered around New Year's Day and the end of February, when confusion over leap years might cause problems.

The tests, which included tracking the data trails created by calls and used for purposes such as billing, "found no problems," Giosa said.

Though these tests seem to have shown that problems in the North American phone network are unlikely, testing still remains to be done to determine whether there might be problems with overseas calls.

The Network Reliability and Interoperability Council, which reported to the Federal Communications Commission in the US last month, has already raised the alarm on this subject. The council compiled public and private assessments of the year-2000 readiness of telecommunications networks around the world. It found that in 75 percent of the countries represented, the risk of not being ready for the millennium rollover has increased since its last assessment in January.

The council is working with the US State Department and other government agencies to prioritize countries that are at a significant risk of not reaching Y2K readiness.

While global readiness remains in doubt, the Canadian report is the latest in a series offering reassurance about North Americans' ability to make phone calls this New Year's. BellSouth Corp. and AT&T said in April that extensive tests gave 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 a teleconference with reporters at the end of April, John Pasqua, AT&T's vice-president in charge of Year 2000 issues, said phone service in North America and Western Europe is at little risk from the Year 2000 problem. Large local exchange carriers (LECs) in the US, which together are more than 99 percent of local traffic, are in good shape, he said, and while smaller LECs only had 20 percent of their switches Year-2000 ready as of December, they carry less than one percent of all traffic, and many have little work to do because they are so small.

The Canadian Year 2000 Telecommunications Industry Forum includes the incumbent carriers that make up Stentor, several independent and competitive local carriers, the major competitive long-distance carriers, wireless carriers, and major cable-television operators.

-- y2k dave (, May 29, 1999

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