oversight

Year 2000 Computing Crisis: Readiness of the Telecommunications Industry

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-09-30.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                  United States General Accounting Office

GAO               Report to the Special Committee on the
                  Year 2000 Technology Problem, U.S.
                  Senate


September 1999
                  YEAR 2000
                  COMPUTING CRISIS

                  Readiness of the
                  Telecommunications
                  Industry




GAO/AIMD-99-293
United States General Accounting Office                                            Accounting and Information
Washington, D.C. 20548                                                                  Management Division



                                    B-283621                                                                        Leter




                                    September 30, 1999

                                    The Honorable Robert F. Bennett
                                    Chairman, Special Committee on the
                                    Year 2000 Technology Problem
                                    United States Senate

                                    Dear Mr. Chairman:

                                    The continuity of telecommunication services into the Year 2000 is critical
                                    to government, individuals, and major economic sectors both domestically
                                    and internationally. On August 3, 1999, we briefed your office on the results
                                    of our review of the reported Year 2000 readiness of the
                                    telecommunications industry. To identify the reported readiness, we
                                    analyzed reports issued by the Federal Communications Commission
                                    (FCC), individual carriers, and industry organizations. We did not
                                    independently assess whether individual telecommunications
                                    organizations are, in fact, Year 2000 ready. We conducted this work from
                                    February through July 1999 in accordance with generally accepted
                                    government auditing standards. This letter provides a high-level summary
                                    of our briefing. Our briefing slides are presented in appendix I.

                                    Basic network services are unlikely to be immediately disrupted by Year
                                    2000-related problems if networks are left unremediated according to
                                    experts who have been tracking and studying the telecommunications
                                    industry's Year 2000 risks, such as the Network Reliability and
                                    Interoperability Council (NRIC) and the International Telecommunication
                                    Union (ITU). However, telecommunications carriers could still experience
                                    problems with network maintenance, service billing, or operator
                                    interfaces, such as incorrect date or day-of-week displays.

                                    Major U.S. public telecommunications carriers have reported making good
                                    progress in remediating their networks and supporting systems in order to
                                    prevent these types of Year 2000-related problems. However, the status of
                                    international carrier renovation efforts is less certain. According to NRIC,
                                    large domestic carriers expect to achieve Year 2000 compliance by the end
                                    of the third quarter of 1999, while medium and small carriers are projecting
                                    that they will achieve compliance through the fourth quarter of 1999.
                                    Domestic wireless providers report similar progress, with large providers




                                    Page 1                         GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
estimating compliance by mid-1999 and medium and small carriers
projecting compliance through the third quarter of 1999.

While information is available to NRIC on major carrier readiness, there is
less information on the status of medium and small carriers. As a result,
efforts are ongoing to collect more data on the readiness of these carriers.
The FCC is completing a survey, the U.S. Telephone Association is polling
its members, and the National Association of Regulatory Utility
Commissioners is developing a state-by-state assessment.

The testing efforts that have been undertaken over the past year by
domestic carriers further indicate that remediated networks will not
experience major disruptions as a result of the Year 2000. Specifically, tests
of local exchange carrier voice and data networking services as well as
tests on the interoperability between local exchange carriers and
interexchange carrier networks, reported by the Telco Forum and the
Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) respectively,
resulted in few anomalies. None of the anomalies affected call processing
within the network. Further, all Year 2000 anomalies were corrected and
successfully retested before tests were concluded.

Internationally, NRIC reported in July 1999 that, while countries around the
globe continue to make progress, with some exceptions, their efforts have
not matched the pace of efforts in the United States and Canada. NRIC
cautioned, however, that the information available for its assessment was
limited and varied in its view from source to source. Also, the results of the
assessment varied widely within each region. For example, while Asia
Pacific is considered to be a region at high risk, some nations within that
region, such as Australia, are considered to be at low risk. The
interoperability testing of international gateway switches is still under way.
However, the ITU reported as of July 1999 that testing was successfully
completed on eight international gateway switches.1

In addition to renovating and testing telecommunications systems and
networks, it is also vital that carriers and the industry plan for unexpected


1
 It should be noted, however, that international testing is more limited in its minimum
defined scope than testing conducted in North America. For example, only voice call
processing is included in the minimum testing requirement defined by ITU; the testing of
other network services such as data services is optional, as is stress testing. Also,
information that is being made available on test results is much less detailed than the
documentation on the results of North American test efforts.




Page 2                               GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
failures, such as power losses. According to Telco Year 2000 Forum
representatives and information posted by carriers on their web sites,
telecommunications carriers are updating their existing contingency plans
to reflect Year 2000-related contingencies. Details on these plans, such as
when they will be completed, are not yet available. For example, out of
nine major carriers' SEC filings we reviewed in May 1999, five did not list
dates by which their Year 2000 contingency plans would be complete. NRIC
is assessing the progress of business continuity and contingency planning
efforts.

We are sending copies of this report to the Honorable Christopher Dodd,
Vice Chairman, Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology
Problem, and the Honorable Stephen Horn, Chairman, and Representative
Jim Turner, Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Government
Management, Information and Technology, House Committee on
Government Reform. We are also sending copies to the Honorable Jacob J.
Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Copies will be
made available to others upon request.

If you have any questions, please contact me or Kevin Conway, Assistant
Director, at 202-512-6240 or by e-mail at brockj.aimd@gao.gov or
conwayk.aimd@gao.gov . Other major contributors to this work were Mary
Marshall, Sanford Reigle, Philip Rutar, and James Weidner.

Sincerely yours,




Jack L. Brock, Jr.
Director, Governmentwide and
  Defense Information Systems




Page 3                         GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
Appendix I

Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on                                                     Appendx
                                                                                                      ies




the Year 2000 Technology Problem                                                                 Appendx
                                                                                                       Ii




                                     Accounting and Information
                                     Management Division

             Year 2000 Readiness of the
             Telecommunications Industry


             Presented to
             U.S. Senate Special Committee on the
             Year 2000 Technology Problem

                                                         August 3, 1999

                                                                                  1




                            Page 4               GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
             Appendix I
             Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
             the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                      Agenda


• Objectives, scope, and methodology
• Background
• Reported Year 2000 readiness status
    • Wireline services
    • Wireless services
    • International services
• Industry test activities and results
• Contingency planning activities
• Observations




                                                                                   2




             Page 5                               GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                   Appendix I
                   Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                   the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                            Objectives, Scope, and
                            Methodology
Our objectives were to determine the reported Year 2000
readiness status of major carriers; to evaluate results of
industry testing; and to identify contingency planning
actions and strategies underway.
To meet our objectives, we reviewed
• The Federal Communications Commission’s Year 2000 Report on
the Communications Sector;
• Reports and working papers of the Network Reliability and
Interoperability Council (NRIC);
• Reports on industry Year 2000 testing activities;
• Planning, status and other documentation obtained from carrier web
sites; and
• Year 2000 disclosures contained within the quarterly 10-Q and
annual 10-K statements of major carriers to the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC).

                                                                                         3




                   Page 6                               GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                  Appendix I
                  Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                  the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                           Objectives, Scope, and
                           Methodology (cont’d)
We also contacted officials at the
• Federal Communications Commission (FCC);
• National Communications System (NCS); and
• Telecommunications associations, including
    • Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions
    (ATIS),
    • Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association
    (CTIA), and
    • International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
We conducted our work between February 1999 and
July 1999 in accordance with generally accepted government
auditing standards.


                                                                                        4




                  Page 7                               GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                Appendix I
                Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                         Background


Telecommunications services are critically important to
   • the economy
   • infrastructure operations, including power
   • government operations
   • safety and well-being of citizens




                                                                                      5




                Page 8                               GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                      Appendix I
                      Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                      the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                               Background (cont’d)

Year 2000 poses a range of risks to
telecommunications services if left unremediated.
While basic call processing may be unaffected, the risks
posed include:
• Limited or blocked service due to degraded network operations,
• Problems with service billing,
• Problems with network maintenance capabilities because maintenance
activities do not start, or
• Problems with network operator interfaces, such as incorrect date or day-
of-week displays.

Also, features available on some customer premises
equipment, such as date-related call routing, may fail.

                                                                                            6




                      Page 9                               GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                  Appendix I
                  Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                  the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                        Background (cont’d)

There have been significant efforts undertaken to raise
Year 2000 awareness.
   • Federal efforts
      • President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion
      • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
      • Network Reliability and Interoperability Council
      (NRIC)
   • Industry efforts
      • Carrier remediation efforts
      • Carrier outreach

                                                                                        7




                  Page 10                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                Appendix I
                Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                the Year 2000 Technology Problem




Wireline, Wireless, and International Carrier Readiness




                                                                                      8




                Page 11                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                  Appendix I
                  Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                  the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                        Readiness of Wireline
                        Services
• Significant carrier remediation is underway. Major carriers
estimate they will spend more than $2.8B to upgrade
networks and supporting systems.
• According to NRIC, most US carriers report that they
expect to complete critical remediation actions soon.
   • Large carriers projecting September 1999 compliance
   • Medium and small carriers projecting completion
   through the 4th quarter, 1999
• Carriers have completed extensive interoperability testing
which disclose no service-affecting problems.
• Limited information is available on small carrier readiness.

                                                                                        9




                  Page 12                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                 Appendix I
                 Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                 the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                       Readiness of Wireless
                       Services

• Large wireless carriers plan to be compliant by mid-1999;
medium and small wireless carriers projecting dates through
the 3rd quarter.
• Wireless-wireline interoperability testing completed in
February 1999; no service-affecting problems disclosed.




                                                                                       10




                 Page 13                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                   Appendix I
                   Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                   the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                        Readiness of International
                        Services

International Y2K status is uncertain
• Limited information is available on status of
telecommunications carriers outside of the U.S.
In their assessment of International readiness
assessment to date, experts caution that disruptions
could occur, but the impact will likely be limited in both
scope and effect.
• ITU, July 1999
• NRIC, July 1999



                                                                                         11




                   Page 14                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                  Appendix I
                  Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                  the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                        Readiness of International
                        Services (cont’d)

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), July 1999
   • Material disruption to network call connectivity is
   unlikely; there is little date sensitive information passed
   across network interfaces in real time.
   • There may be difficulties in connecting to some
   telecommunications providers, and there may be some
   effects due to re-routing of network traffic.
   • Major telecommunications companies and their
   partners are unlikely to experience significant Y2K-
   related service disruption.


                                                                                        12




                  Page 15                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                Appendix I
                Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                      Readiness of International
                      Services (cont’d)
NRIC Assessment of International Readiness
 July 1999
      • Risk of call failure between North America and
      other regions is low.
      • Potential impacts include call setup delay due
      to congestion in some foreign networks, and
      service quality degradation over time due to
      non-compliant network components.
      • Unpredictable infrastructure failures (e.g.,
      power) could adversely impact networks.


                                                                                      13




                Page 16                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                Appendix I
                Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                      Readiness of International
                      Services (cont’d)
• NRIC Assessment of International Readiness
 July 1999 (219 Countries)
   • Used six sources of global risk data that furnished
   information to NRIC on an anonymous reporting
   basis
   • Defined three levels of risk -- low, medium, and
   high -- based on perception of risk
   • NRIC recognized limitations of data; information is
   inconsistent from report to report and country to
   country


                                                                                      14




                Page 17                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                Appendix I
                Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                       Readiness of International
                       Services (cont’d)
NRIC Assessment of International Readiness
Result by Region
   • High Risk Regions:
      • Central and South America (including Mexico)
      • Indian sub-continent
      • Sub-Sahara Africa
      • Eastern Europe
      • Middle East and North Africa (excluding Israel)
      • Asia Pacific

                                                                                      15




                Page 18                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                  Appendix I
                  Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                  the Year 2000 Technology Problem




Value, Limitations, and Status of Industry Year 2000 Testing




                                                                                        16




                  Page 19                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
               Appendix I
               Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
               the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                     Industry Year 2000 Testing


Value
  • Interoperability testing provides some confidence in
  the network’s ability to operate properly and
  accurately exchange information in the Year 2000.
  • Inter-carrier testing generates information enabling
  potentially affected parties to better understand risks
  posed by the Year 2000 problem.




                                                                                     17




               Page 20                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                Appendix I
                Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                      Industry Year 2000 Testing
                      (cont’d)
Limitations
   • Inherent complexities and network
   interdependencies preclude industry’s ability to do
   100% testing for Year 2000 readiness.
   • Not possible to fully recreate the operational public
   network in an “off-line” lab environment for testing
   purposes.
   • As a result, Year 2000 interoperability can only be
   tested in pieces within a lab environment, and can
   be fully assured compliant only if all pieces
   interoperate on January 1, 2000.


                                                                                      18




                Page 21                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                      Appendix I
                      Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                      the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                            Levels of Year 2000 Testing in
                            Telecommunications

                                       • Industry is using a complementary tiered
                                       approach to Year 2000 testing.
                                              • Telco Year 2000 Forum testing of local
                                              exchange carrier (LEC) network services
                                              • Alliance for Telecommunications Industry
                                              Solutions (ATIS) testing of interoperability
                                              between LEC and interexchange carrier
                                              (IXC) networks
                                              • Testing of international gateway switches
                                              coordinated by the International
                                              Telecommunication Union (ITU)
                                       This inter-carrier testing is in addition to vendor
                                       product testing, and independent carrier testing.




SOURCE: Telco Forum


                                                                                            19




                      Page 22                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
               Appendix I
               Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
               the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                     Industry Year 2000 Testing
                     (cont’d)
Telco Year 2000 Forum Testing Scope
   • Local exchange carrier’s portion of network
      • Services and features tested
         • Basic, enhanced, and intelligent network
         services
         • Data transport
         • Management systems
         • Emergency services
      • Interoperability of elements supporting these
      services and features



                                                                                     20




               Page 23                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
               Appendix I
               Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
               the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                      Industry Year 2000 Testing
                      (cont’d)
Telco Year 2000 Forum Testing Results
• Testing conducted from July 1998 to December 1998;
1,914 test cases executed
   • Reportedly less than 2% of tests generated
   findings or anomalies
      • Only six Y2K-related anomalies encountered
      • All six fixed by vendors, successfully re-tested
      • None of the anomalies were service-affecting




                                                                                     21




               Page 24                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
               Appendix I
               Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
               the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                     Industry Year 2000 Testing
                     (cont’d)
ATIS Network Signaling System Year 2000
Interoperability Testing Scope
   • Testing checked inter-network interoperability of
   different local and long-distance service providers’
   equipment in a Y2K environment
   • Tests focused on voice call processing events
      • Mass calling events and potential congestion
      • Cross-network services call completion (e.g.,
      calling card validation, toll-free service)
      • Government Emergency Telecommunications
      Service (GETS)

                                                                                     22




               Page 25                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
               Appendix I
               Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
               the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                     Industry Year 2000 Testing
                     (cont’d)
ATIS Network Signaling System Year 2000
Interoperability Testing Results
   • Testing conducted on remediated infrastructure
   from January 1999 to February 1999
   • There were reportedly no Y2K-related anomalies
   encountered during testing




                                                                                     23




               Page 26                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
               Appendix I
               Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
               the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                     Industry Year 2000 Testing
                     (cont’d)
ATIS Financial Network Service Year 2000 Testing
Scope
   • Testing to verify functioning of interconnected data
   communications services (frame relay networks) in a
   Y2K environment
   • Tests focused on network services supporting
   financial industry transaction processing
      • Credit card authorization
      • Clearing and settlement process




                                                                                     24




               Page 27                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
               Appendix I
               Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
               the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                     Industry Year 2000 Testing
                     (cont’d)
ATIS Financial Network Service Year 2000 Testing
Results
   • Testing conducted on remediated infrastructure
   during April 1999
   • There were reportedly no Y2K-related anomalies
   encountered during testing




                                                                                     25




               Page 28                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                 Appendix I
                 Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                 the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                       Industry Year 2000 Testing
                       (cont’d)
Cellular Industry Year 2000 Interoperability Testing Scope
   • The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association
   (CTIA), major cellular carriers, and equipment suppliers
   participated with ATIS network testing.
   • Testing addressed
      • wireless to wireline testing,
      • wireline to wireless testing,
      • wireless to wireless testing, and
      • emergency 911 calling.


                                                                                       26




                 Page 29                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                 Appendix I
                 Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                 the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                       Industry Year 2000 Testing
                       (cont’d)
Cellular Industry Year 2000 Interoperability Testing Results
   • Of more than 825 tests executed, there were 75 test
   anomalies (e.g., facility unavailable, or an improper
   Enhanced 911 services translation, etc.).
   • There were reportedly no Y2K-related anomalies
   encountered during testing.
   • All anomalies encountered were addressed, re-tested,
   and the test event was subsequently successfully
   completed.




                                                                                       27




                 Page 30                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                 Appendix I
                 Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                 the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                       Industry Year 2000 Testing
                       (cont’d)
International testing scope
   • ITU has been coordinating interoperability and
   testing activities between major international
   carriers.
   • ITU trying to assure all international gateway
   switch types are tested through bilateral agreements
   between participating network operators.
   • Minimum test requirement covers International
   Direct Dialed (IDD) voice call set-up, processing,
   and termination over the course of critical rollover
   dates.


                                                                                       28




                 Page 31                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                  Appendix I
                  Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                  the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                        Industry Year 2000 Testing
                        (cont’d)
International testing (cont’d)
   • ITU’s minimum testing is limited in scope
       • Applies to voice call processing only; other
       network services or conditions (e.g., data
       services or network stress testing) may be tested
       at discretion of parties.
       • As a result, there will be no assurance of
       uniform testing of a full range of services during
       all bilateral testing efforts.
   • Test results are not readily available
       • Only limited results are publicly available.

                                                                                        29




                  Page 32                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                  Appendix I
                  Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                  the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                        Industry Year 2000 Testing
                        (cont’d)
International testing (cont’d)
   • There are 19 uniquely configured switches sold by
   seven manufacturers used as international gateway
   switches.
   • The ITU has expressed concern about the ability to
   test all 19 gateway switch types.
   • International testing is continuing.




                                                                                        30




                  Page 33                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                  Appendix I
                  Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                  the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                        Industry Year 2000 Testing
                        (cont’d)
Reported International testing results to date are
encouraging
   • The ITU is reporting that as of July 1999, testing
   was successfully completed on eight International
   Gateway Switches available from six vendors:
       VENDOR                      SWITCH
       Alcatel                     E10, S12
       Ericsson                    AXE10
       Lucent                      4ESS, 5ESS
       NEC                         Neax 61E
       NORTEL                      DMS 300
       Siemens                     EWSD



                                                                                        31




                  Page 34                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                                 Appendix I
                                 Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                                 the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                                       Industry Year 2000 Testing
                                       (cont’d)
Although limited test results are available to the public
from the ITU, some carriers are making reports
available. For example, AT&T posted five reports of
successful international testing:
TEST PARTNER                     SERVICES TESTED                             DATE COMPLETED
Hong Kong Telecom                 Voice Services                             February 1999
Telkom South Africa               Voice Services                             April 1999
Singapore Telecom                Frame Relay Data Services                   April 1999
Joint Interoperability Testing
 Cross-Border Team1                Voice Services                            February 1999
Canadian Telecommunications
 Industry Forum (CTIF)2          Voice Services, Wireline,                   February 1999
                                  Wireless, Toll Free, and
                                  Inbound/Outbound International
NOTE: 1. Included AT&T, AT&T Canada, and Stentor.
      2. Included AT&T, Sprint, and Canadian telecommunications providers.


                                                                                                       32




                                 Page 35                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
 Appendix I
 Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
 the Year 2000 Technology Problem




Contingency Planning




                                                                       33




 Page 36                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                Appendix I
                Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                      Contingency Planning


FCC: “There is no assurance against random Year
2000 disruptions, despite the thorough and deliberate
remediation efforts any entity may undertake.”
Contingency planning should be undertaken by:
   • Providers of telecommunications services, and
   • Users of telecommunications services.




                                                                                      34




                Page 37                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                Appendix I
                Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                      Contingency Planning
                      (cont’d)

Limited information available on status of contingency
planning.
   • FCC reported both wireline and wireless carriers
   vague about when Y2K contingency plans would be
   completed.
   • FCC concerns echoed in GAO’s analysis of SEC
   10-Q and 10-K public disclosures; of nine filings
   reviewed, five did not give completion dates for
   contingency plans.




                                                                                      35




                Page 38                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                 Appendix I
                 Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                 the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                       Contingency Planning
                       (cont’d)
• Carriers are updating existing plans to reflect
Year 2000-related contingencies.

• Telco Year 2000 Forum is addressing contingency
planning issue with members through information
exchange.
• NRIC is actively encouraging contingency planning:
   • Co-sponsored April 1999 workshop with US
   Telephone Association (USTA)
   • Furnished detailed information on how to perform
   contingency planning at its web site for users and
   carriers (www.nric.org)

                                                                                       36




                 Page 39                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                 Appendix I
                 Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                 the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                       Contingency Planning
                       (cont’d)
Cross-industry plans are now taking shape, nationally
and internationally. For example,
   • Cooperative Industry/Government information
   exchanges are being planned and implemented
   under NCS auspices (National Coordination Center)
   in the U.S.
      • Status and trouble reporting on carrier networks and
      major network elements.
      • Monitoring major date event horizons.
      • Using of both positive reporting and exception reporting.
      • Sharing network status information with President’s
      Council’s Information Coordination Center.

                                                                                       37




                 Page 40                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                     Appendix I
                     Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                     the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                           Contingency Planning
                           (cont’d)
Cross-industry plans are taking shape (cont’d).
   • International “follow-the-sun” strategy being
   pursued under ITU auspices.
      • Y2K anomaly and outage tracking during key date
      transitions.
      • Beginning with the date change in Asia-Pacific region,
      which contains over 90% of switching and transmission
      systems commonly used around the world.
      • Follow a web-based reporting process, with positive
      reports submitted at prescribed intervals, and exception
      reports as they arise.



                                                                                           38




                     Page 41                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                 Appendix I
                 Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                 the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                       Observations

• Extensive efforts taken in the U.S. to remediate and
test network infrastructure minimize likelihood of
widespread service outages
• Test results support conclusion that remediated
infrastructure will encounter few, if any, Year 2000-
related disruptions
• Contingency planning actions remain important to
respond in timely manner to unforeseen circumstances




                                                                                       39




                 Page 42                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
                           Appendix I
                           Briefing to the Senate Special Committee on
                           the Year 2000 Technology Problem




                                 Observations (cont’d)

           • Two areas of concern remain
              • Limited information available on status of small and
              medium domestic carriers, wireline and wireless
              • Limited information available on status of
              international telecommunications carrier efforts and
              test results




                                                                                                 40




(511144)       Leter       Page 43                              GAO/AIMD-99-293 Telecommunications Y2K Readiness
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