Software snafu KO's phone service to hub businesses (Y2k compliant) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Software snafu KOs phone service to Hub businesses by Laurel J. Sweet

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

Scott West's employee-recruiting firm in South Boston ``is not in service at this time'' - or so a Bell Atlantic recorded message implies when a caller tries reaching Culi Services at 210 South St.

But to West's frustration and his clientele's puzzlement, Culi Services is alive and well.

A system crash at Bell Atlantic's Harrison Avenue office, which spokesman John Johnson said services predominantly businesses, has left an untold number of phone lines in limbo since late Saturday night.

West said he can sometimes call out, but no calls can come in to his 12-year-old company.

``I've been working off a cell phone,'' West said last night. ``We're very phone intensive on a daily basis. I'll give Bell Atlantic one more day and then I'm contacting a lawyer. They've pretty much crippled my business.''

One more day may be all Bell Atlantic needs to repair the breakdown in communication, which Johnson attributed to damaged software the company unwittingly loaded into new computer hardware over the weekend. Replacement software was expected to be installed by tonight, he said.

The bad software, which Johnson said was ``corrupted'' at the manufacturing level, ``would have contained everything about any customer's line, how calls were to be routed, whether or not the customer had multiple lines . . .''

Johnson said about 120 complaints about phone service in the Harrison Avenue area have been fielded this week. Customers, he acknowledged, weren't notified of the work to be done.

West said he first picked up on the problem Sunday, when he tried to retrieve phone messages from outside the office.

Said Johnson, ``Whenever we have to do work like that we will work in an off-peak time to try and minimize any effect on customers. Ordinarily, the work would be completely transparent.''

Invisible is just how West feels.

Bell Atlantic, he said, ``talks customer service, but here we are going into the fourth day of the problem and they still haven't told me what the problem is.''

West said he fears for what might happen to his company's telephone service on New Year's Day. Johnson, however, assured Bell Atlantic is ``absolutely'' Y2K compliant.

-- Homer Beanfang (, November 24, 1999


On Monday Nov. 15 I attended a seminar in Rockford, IL given by Joel Willemssen and David Powner of the US GAO about the readiness of US government and industries. Although I knew most of the information they presented, because I'm a regular reader of the major Y2k websites, it was still beneficial to attend and hear the information first hand.

The point I want to make is this: two days before the meeting, I was informed that the FCC is extending the Y2k compliance "due date" for the telecommunications industry to June 2000 because the testing to date indicates that the "bad" data from non-compliant telecommunications systems is corrupting the compliant systems.

Can any telecommunications professionals comment on this ? This information was not presented publicly at the meeting.

-- Brian Liebenstein (, November 24, 1999.

Lets see, four days and they are not sure where the problem even is?


-- lovely (, November 24, 1999.

Brian Liebenstein

Thanks for your post and it is the most interesting one I have seen in a while. If the Telcos will not be compliant until mid 2000 then everyone has a severe problem.

I am curious as to the degree of faith you have in your source and can this be verified. My e-mail is real-please feel free to respond off-forum should you choose.

-- Mike Lang (, November 24, 1999.

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