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1998-02-26 23:04:15


The Rest of the World Has Barely Begun



Even if the U.S. gets 2000-compliant, but the rest of the world doesn't, the world economy will collapse. Meanwhile, the U.S. will be cut off from foreign computers or else corrupted by them.

The rest of the world is so far behind that it might as well not begin. But, then, we might as well not finish.

This is from Radio Free Europe (Feb. 25).

* * * * * * * * * *

Lou Marcoccio, Research Director of the year 2000 problem at the Gartner Group, a Connecticut research firm widely regarded as the premier expert on the millennium bomb, told RFE/RL that the world should brace for serious economic problems ahead as a result of the software failure. . . .

But perhaps the greatest unknown factor in determining the precise impact of the millennium bomb on the U.S. and global economy, says Marcoccio, is the readiness of the rest of the world to address the problem.

Marcoccio says Europeans and Asians lag behind the U.S. in trying to fix the problem. In a recent survey, Marcoccio's firm checked on how prepared 6,000 companies around the world are in addressing the millennium bomb, the results were dismal.

The survey rated countries according to five categories: Zero -- for no action on the problem taken; Level 1 -- for recognition of the problem and need for action; Level 2 -- completion of an inventory; Level 3 -- for development of a program for making repairs and starting the process; Level 4 -- for completion of work on "mission critical" systems; Level 5 -- for completion of work on all systems.

The results listed the U.S., Canada, Australia, Great Britain and Ireland at Level 2 to 3. Western Europe, Israel, South Africa, Japan and Brazil were ranked at Level 1 to 2. Central Africa Eastern Europe, Middle East, Russia, China and parts of South America were rated at Zero to Level 1. Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, portions of South America, and most of the former Soviet Union -- Zero. . . .

Says Marcoccio: "All of us in every country in the world are going to pay this bill ... all of us individually because goods will cost more, utilities, including power, lights and water, will increase in price, taxes will go up across the board because governments have to pay for this as well ... There is no one else to pay for this problem except all of us. And pay, we will."


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