You asked for Y2K testing... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

"Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions -- ATIS -- Reports No Call Failures During Y2K International Gateway Testing WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 15, 1999--

An exhaustive series of industry testing of key telecommunications gateways used to route international call traffic to and from the U.S. identified no Y2K- related failures, according to a report issued today by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS).

The report was delivered to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today in preparation for its next meeting with the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council (NRIC-IV), a telecommunications sector group that advises the FCC on efforts made to prepare telecommunications networks for Y2K.

U.S.-based carriers GTE, MCI Worldcom and Winstar Communications participated in the globally cooperative Y2K testing effort, which examined the interoperability and reliability of the internetwork connections between U.S. networks and those operated by non-U.S. carriers CANTV (based in Venezuela), Telecom Italia, and Telkom South Africa.

Participants also included the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), as well as the U.S. Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS). GETS is the federal emergency network that is activated in times of natural disasters, such as earthquakes or flooding.

The international gateway testing consisted of test calls placed before, during, and after five significant Y2K-related date changes: December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000; February 28, 2000 to February 29, 2000; February 29, 2000 to March 1, 2000; December 31, 2000 to January 1, 2001; and February 28, 2001 to March 1, 2001.

Each test call traversed, at a minimum, three carriers' networks, and system clocks within each network were staggered to simulate the occurrence of each date change across various time zones. Types of calls placed included International Direct Distance Dialing (IDDD) calls, International Switched Voice-Band Data (SVBD) calls, and those utilizing the GETS system.

In all test calls, no failures occurred as a result of the five Y2K date and time transitions of the test network system clocks. End-to-end voice and data communications were maintained and verified before, during, and after the midnight timeframe of the three time zones for each test.

The international gateway testing was conducted by the ATIS-sponsored Internetwork Interoperability Test Coordination (IITC) Committee, a U.S.-based industry forum comprised of telecommunications carriers and equipment manufacturers that carefully evaluate network interconnection and reliability.

The IITC Committee conducted two additional phases of Y2K internetwork testing earlier this year, which focused on the impact of Y2K on the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) as well as on frame relay networks used in the transmission of financial data.

``While we've known for sometime through earlier IITC Committee testing efforts and other industry studies that the internetworking between U.S.-based networks is `Y2K Sound,' the impact of key date rollovers on international calls has been less clear, until now,'' said ATIS President and CEO George Edwards. ``The recent results of the IITC Committee's test activities demonstrate that, during critical Y2K rollover dates, calls reaching key international gateways can be successfully routed through U.S.-based carrier networks, and from there to different gateways around the world,'' Edwards said.

The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) is a member company organization that defines standards and operating procedures for the telecommunications industry.

Nearly 3,000 experts from 300 telecommunications companies participate in ATIS committees, whose work focus includes network interconnection standards, number portability, improved data transmission, wireless communications, Internet telephony, toll-free access, and ordering and billing issues.

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.

Information on ATIS is available on the World Wide Web at, or by contacting the ATIS headquarters at 202/628-6380, or by writing to: ATIS, 1200 G Street, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005."

-- Ken Decker (, October 15, 1999


Good news, for sure, but with the 'telecommunications gateways used to route international call traffic to and from the U.S.' all fixed and tested, does that mean I should live in NYC or NM ????????

-- for whom (, October 15, 1999.

Dear Mr. Decker,

I can chime in on this discussion, as I have had numerous years in the telcom industry in both local and long distance. While yes, the computer hardware that runs MOST of the telephone systems in this country will handle the rollover successfully, what about the actual switch equipment? How can you test roll the date on this embedded chip or that? On some systems, if memory serves me correctly, billing is calculated from signals that the embeds send to the computers. These are very much date sensitive. How might this change the picture?

Ms. Cannot-Say

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 15, 1999.

I think it's very econvcouraging that MCI Worldcom could get their system up in time for the test.

-- Dave (, October 15, 1999.


Since I used to work for one of the companies that is listed in the reaport... all that I can say is LOL... I think!

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 15, 1999.

Mr. Decker,

Yes, well and good. But, since the truth you reported does not support the asserted premise that doom and gloom most assuredly awaits us all, I doubt that it will be received by anything other than illogical banter - the likes of which you yourself, in an earlier thread (titled "Dumb and Dumber", or something similar) described. There is an example of such illogic above.

Here, the subjective truth is determined by one and only one litmus criterion: Does it support the meme?

Andy Ray

-- Andy Ray (, October 15, 1999.

Now take a close look at what precent of ALL telecommunications companies this TRUELY represents. 3 companies out of how many? How many TESTS were completed??? Note they tested with only 3 other countries. LOL Give me a break Mr Decker.. Is this simuliar to the world wide bank test a few months ago???

U.S.-based carriers GTE, MCI Worldcom and Winstar Communications participated in the globally cooperative Y2K testing effort, which examined the interoperability and reliability of the internetwork connections between U.S. networks and those operated by non-U.S. carriers CANTV (based in Venezuela), Telecom Italia, and Telkom South Africa.

-- y2k dave (, October 15, 1999.

y2k dave:

This doesn't sound like a test of these companies' billing systems, but rather of their physical plant -- the lines and switches and other equipment. It seems likely that this test was extensive enough to validate almost every kind of equipment out there. There aren't that many, that a test such as this won't pretty much provide complete coverage at the hardware/firmware level.

Now, whether these or other telecommunications companies are complaint with respect to their business systems is another issue.

-- Flint (, October 15, 1999.


If I may ask, have you ever worked a telephony failure either hardware or software?

Thank You.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 15, 1999.


Only in the lab, not in the field. I've been involved in tracking down why some hardware tends to fail.

-- Flint (, October 15, 1999.


Then you should be aware, or not, on how date sensitive some of the telcom equipment is. Just how do they store those dates in the chips? I know all of the software that runs them, initiates a call, processes the call, records the call, and bills the call. I can program switches. But what about that date.

From my experience, the FAA was always the first to let us know when we had a possible failure. Many times I thanked them for alerting me to a small problem before it could become a huge one. Not meant to harp, but I really do want to know.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 15, 1999.

Oh yeah... and Flint, do I know you by another name? If so... cheers!

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 15, 1999.


That is indeed good news.

I hope that it all works as well or even better [G] under full load and real field conditions. That can make a difference.

Still, that is the kind of hard testing news I, personally, am very eager to hear. I don't want any of this stuff to go wrong.

"Never have so few wished so fervently to be completely wrong"

-- mushroom (, October 15, 1999.


Typically, the year comes from a hardware RTC, most of which use a 2- digit year. It's up to software at a higher (RTOS) level to window that year, hopefully correctly. Otherwise, records may reflect connections that were completed LONG before they originated [grin].

And no, Flint is the only name I go by. It's my real name.

-- Flint (, October 15, 1999.


First, sorry for the misidentification.

Secondly, if the program did not window the date correctly, then some calls may not go through, as the programs often use effective dates for numbers - like new area codes and the like. If the window doesn't work properly, then the call cannot be completed because the system would not think that the number would be operational. Ever wonder how a new area code is introduced?

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 15, 1999.


Thank you very much. I didn't know that. It does strike me that an incorrect windowing problem is testable in the lab, whereas perhaps traffic limitations would not be. I appreciate your information.

-- Flint (, October 15, 1999.

Another thing that gets me is where they state "End-to-end voice and data communications were maintained and verified before, during, and after the midnight timeframe of the three time zones for each test. "

Did they establish the call, then roll the time forward on the machines? If this is the case, all they proved was that the phone call would not be disconnected.

Seems I remember Bell South stating a long time ago that they would guarantee a dial tone on 01/01/2000. Funny thing, a dial tone doesn't mean that you can actually make a call.

Don't get me wrong, I do hope everything is fixed, but some of the code that I saw in 8 years really makes me wonder if they have it all fixed.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 15, 1999.

Many of the problems will occur in the so called PBX's used by businesses hospitals, etc.

-- Dave (, October 16, 1999.

I too have quite a bit of experience in Telecom. My exposure has been mostly in the form of "PC BASED CALL PROCESSING PLATFORMS". There are tons of them, and they process calls all over the world. Ever hear of the "prepaid phone card"? Well those are mostly run on PC based systems.

There is VERY LITTLE about the telecom industry that is "standardized". Even just PROTOCOLS can vary enough to drive a telecom tech up the wall. I know FOR A FACT that there are MANY PC (personal computer) based systems out there running more calls than you think. such as...

Prepaid/Postpaid phone cards Prepaid/Postpaid residential (dialtone) Prepaid/Postpaid Wireless (cellular, PCS, GSM) Prepaid/Postpaid Long distance

Many if these systems are running on 386 or 486 based systems, and they use the very same phone network that the rest of the world uses. I worked for a company that provided these systems to over 17 countries (somewhere around 70 total systems), processing MILLIONS of minutes a month per system. When our company suggested y2k upgrades for some of the older systems, may of the companies declined because of the cost. Furthermore, i find it laughable that any phone "network" can even begin to call themselves "compliant", especially given that they rely (a lot of times) on other "network providers" who, themselves rely on still other "network providers"...and so on.

I guess if someone was to ask me what my point is...

I have been in many switch rooms around the US. I have seen configurations of phone systems that would boggle your mind. Not to mention that fact that our public phone system is made up of *god knows how many* large and small businesses who each have their own hardware and software, and may times RELY on OTHER such companies for services.

For example, My T1 connection to the internet was ordered from a company called ELI, who had to get it from some other company, who got it from SPRINT. Before my connection gets to me, it has been routed through 3 different COMPANIES (at least) who each have their own Y2K problems to work on. If one of the three (or more) misses something, I could lose my internet connection VERY easily. The same thing goes for the PHONE LINES you all use everyday. Its all the same system. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how easily there could be many "service interruptions" in a NORMAL day....let alone Y2K.

I dont consider myself an expert, and quite frankly, I don't think it is possible for any ONE PERSON or even a panel of such people to claim to be world-wide telephone network experts. There are simply too many DIFFERENT interconnected systems out there.

I gave up trying to forecast Y2K long ago, but I just wanted to tell you people not to underestimate the size, and complexity of the phone/internet networks. I could show most of you a SIMPLE diagram of a CLOSED system that would blow your mind.

Too many variables people. Just continue your preps.

-- Mad Max (, October 16, 1999.

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