phone systems..if everyone picks up at the same time. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Hope this hasn't already been covered but we keep hearing them say that if everyone picks up the phone at midnight, it will cause the system to crash. But isn't it midnight at different times throughout the country? How could that have any effect on things?

-- michelle (, December 23, 1999



EVERY New Year people all over pick up the phone, half tanked, to shout at their freinds and family..."HAAAPPPPPYYY NEEEWW YEEEAAR!!!". This year is no different and the phone companies systems should handle it just as well as they do every year. Just MHO.

-- CygnusXI (, December 23, 1999.

Michelle, the LOCAL switches will be overloaded. The switch number is the second set of three numbers after the area code. Each switch is set for a typical number of phones, served by that switch, to be off at any given time. This varies by area...Wall St. will be set for, say 8/10 of the phones off at any one time, whereas East Nowhere may have a switch that can only handle, say, 1/12 off the hook. There are two formulas used to determine size of the switch, Poisson is one and I forget the other (from a Danish engineer, I think). Switches are very expensive, and like any company with any capital asset, the telcos want them to be in use as much as possible to get the most bang for the buck. ANYWAY...yes, if the majority of people in a switch try to make a call at the same time, most will not get through or get a dial tone until others hang up.

-- Mr. Mike (, December 23, 1999.

The phone systems can only handle 20% of all users at one given time. So like Mothers Day and worse, this new years eve will see alot of phone systems stretched to the limit. Failures will occur and the phone companies know it.

-- y2k dave (, December 23, 1999.

And please don't 'under-use' or 'over-use' any power, either.

Don't fill your gas tank completely.

Don't fill your bathtubs.

Do not hoard more than three days worth of food.

And for Godsake leave your money in the bank.

But......DON'T PANIC.


-- Will continue (, December 23, 1999.


Just forward them to the Whitehouse.

-- Will continue (, December 23, 1999.

Hey Folks!

Mr. Mike has nailed it right on the head. The telephone switched network is a complex animal and was designed to handle only so many customers at any given moment. Think of the number of times you have tried to get into this forum and have been told that the server was too busy. It is exactly the same principal.

-- Sharon L (, December 23, 1999.

See the following thread:

Telecommunication capacity of 20%?? Is this correct??? Marie???

-- David L (, December 23, 1999.

As a person who worked as a telephone engineer for amy years, I tend to believe it is BS. It is true that most switches are designed to accommodate only about 20% of customers at any given time. However, to assume that the majority of people are setting at home waiting to make a call at midmight is absurd. Many will be in bed, out of the house or closed (businesses). If they are only ckecking to see if dial tone is available, that will happen over a period of time and will not cause any significant problem.

-- Dave (, December 23, 1999.

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