Italy says Y2k ready, mayb small power glitches : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Thursday December 30, 2:51 pm Eastern Time (Note: this article is ``in progress''; there will likely be an update soon.)

Italy says Y2K ready, maybe small power glitches

By Steve Pagani

ROME, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Italy said on Thursday its electricity network was largely in shape for Y2K but might suffer some local power cuts -- the sort of brief blackouts Italians are used to living with.

Minor problems could also occur in gas and water supplies, the prime minister's office said in a statement, but were not expected to be anything out of the ordinary.

Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema's office, co-ordinating millennium bug preparations, issued a inventory of readiness in key sectors for the computer effects of the year change to 2000.

Enel -- the utility which produces 73 per cent of Italy's electricity and delivers 90 percent -- foresees no network disruptions over the New Year period, the statement said.

Power delivery from Milan's AEM supplier was described as optimal and from AEM in Turin and ACEA in Rome as good.

``But brief, localised power cuts across the country are possible,'' the statement said. Brief, localised power cuts are a matter of course in cities such as Rome and Milan.

Enel, AEM Milan, AEM Turin and ACEA have together declared themselves Y2K compliant and have integrated their contingency and emergency arrangements, the statement added.

D'Alema on Thursday toured Forte Braschi -- a fortified secret services barracks on the outskirts of Rome which has been turned into Italy's national Y2K control centre.

The government also has its own task force to ensure contact between the control centre and various branches of the executive.


The list from the prime minister's office included:

*Petrol and natural gas - Oil and gas group Eni , which controls most of the sector, has guaranteed complete Y2K compliance and has planned for emergencies with backup supplies for more than one month.

Local malfunctions among small gas distributors could not be ruled out, the statement said.

*Water - Italy's water supplies function mostly without computers, so no millennium bug problems are foreseen. Some minor faults could occur.

*Banking and finance: This sector moved first to become Y2K compliant and is at the best level of preparation both on a national and international level, the statement said.

*Air Transport - Air traffic control supervised by the ENAV body has been declared Y2K compliant. But aircraft from other countries might have to ask for unscheduled landings and problems outside Italy could delays flights.

*Railways - The state railway body, Ferrovie dello Stato, has said its system is millennium compliant and underground networks have been overseen by local authorities.

*Roads - Highways use few computers and automated services, such as toll boths, appear able to function.

*Telecommunications - All telecommunications operators in Italy have declared themselves Y2K compliant.

Telecom Italia fixed line telephones appear under control even though the system is susceptible to Y2K problems like all networks in industrialised countries, the statement said. In Italy, other fixed line alternatives exist (Autostrade, SNAM). Mobile phone networks operated by TIM , Omnitel (controlled by Germany's Mannesmann and Deutsche Telekom ) appear under control.

There should be no disruption to the Internet system, the statement added.

(Note: this article is ``in progress''; there will likely be an update soon.)

-- Homer Beanfang (, December 30, 1999

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