The Telecommunications Industry
The telecommunications industry has spent billions of dollars on Y2K fixes and, in August 1999, reported that 98% of the industry was ready. As a result, carriers project minimal service disruptions domestically.
Internationally, however, there could be problems in completing calls to some high-risk countries. International telecommunications carriers are working to develop an international early warning system to share Y2K information.
Still, unpredictable infrastructure failures, sudden changes in consumer behavior, or customer premise equipment and private network problems could adversely impact telecommunications.
Increased call volume and ad hoc “testing” could congest networks and erode stability. Full interoperability between compliant and non-compliant elements and their impact on the public switched network remains unknown. The lagging Y2K readiness of small and medium-sized domestic carriers could impact services in rural communities.
Finally, there has been no attempt to assess whether the rush to implement Y2K fixes on a global scale will having a lingering impact on the stability of global communications networks over the next year.
The Committee remains concerned about customer premise equipment— the telephone equipment used to route calls within most businesses. Failed customer premise equipment could have a severe impact on business operations if not adequately addressed.
Read the committee report's section on government's preparations for the year 2000 or read the summary of the last status report issued in March 1999. (Editor's note: the committee's report is in the Portable Document Format (PDF). Click here to obtain an Adobe Acrobat reader to view this file.)