PHONES would NOT work 'just fine' implies FCC Report. Convinced everyone ? (excluding Marma) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The FCC has submitted a slick, happy-faced report on telecommunication readiness for consumption of our unbelievably denying huncky-dory America. Please link to

After reading it, please beware that this FCC report is NOT as optimistic as it tries to sound. Otherwise none of the following concepts or conclusions should have been included:

(1) This FCC report talks about "readiness" NOT "compliance". And actually they are not even quite "ready" yet either. There is some key "later-this-year" stuff (vendor dependency?), plus "continuous expectations" (no testing needed? really?) which could turn out to be dangerous wishfull thinking at this late stage of the y2k game. The reported LECs readinesss should make some people feel very uncomfortable particulary because many are vendor-dependent. Full-blown thorough testing, would take place in 1Q/2000? On-line? Live? Should lawyers get into the act? What for??? (keep reading)

(2) Only "20% of international traffic is at high risk", plus an additional "10% of international traffic that may become snarled" says this FCC report. Looks pretty smooth doesn't it? If we can believe this report, it acknowledges that 30% of international calls will be screwed up. That really should make everybody feel very comfortable because we personally don't know that many foreigners to talk to, do we?! Now these percentages could be misleadingly optimistic still, because if 30% of international calls are in bad shape it's because there are some specific countries way way behind remediation ("high risk"). How important are these countries? For example, trade-wise Brazil is important for us. Defense-wise and politically, Russia is very important. Would this state of things mean that incoming calls originated in these such countries would be seriously jeopardized? Because if a call doesn't take off from the country of origin it never makes it to the US no matter how good a shape the rest of the network is in. Brazil's Telebras is a state-owned phone monopoly they are trying to privatize there. Needless to say phones in Brazil are in terrible mess as they are today. President Cardoso recently fired his Minister of Telecommunications after a month-long phone grid-lock which still persists in many areas of Brazil. So Y2K remediation progress is almost unknown. Is it any better for Russia? What about Indonesia, India, Argentina? The FCC has very weak information on this, sometimes none. But the report says loud and clear that "No info is good info" without even attempting to explain the reasoning behind such daring approach.

(3) Then we have this report's acknowledgment of "limited service or call blocking caused by degraded performance of (US) networks, problems in billing and maintenance, problems in operator interfaces..." Does that also justify the happy face presented elsewhere?

(4) And of course as there won't be enough time or resources for the thorough testing really required, this FCC report makes room for "outages attributable to human error which continue to be a major concern". Sure enough. Everything will work perfect BUT... Funny they didn't mention Bin Laden attacks, solar flares, and/or cyberterrorism.

(5) And "network congestion may also be an issue" says this FCC report.

(6) "admittedly PSACs are NOT in good shape" says this FCC report. So how does this leave "911" precisely in the point in time were we would need it most? (7) This FCC report obviously does not address in-house status within individual companies, NGOs, institutions, government agencies, etc. 'Cause don't fool yourselves. We aren't talking about "software" here, as knowledgeable people like Marma sometimes tend to forget. We are talking about telecommunications, which includes software (of course), hardware, embedded chips, transmission lines, human error, satellites, foreign countries, individuals, NGOs, state agencies, PBXs etc., from point of origin to point of destination.

If you want some humor(?) please check into the following link and find out how Bell South and AT&T lawyers (LAWYERS!!) spent months before they agreed on what tests to conduct."

So it's a slick FCC report allright, but not really optimistic if you read it all.

Take care

-- George (, July 29, 1999

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