David Hall specializes in embedded chips. He has raised an important issue on Peter de Jager's forum: the absence of any agreed-upon standard for utilities and y2k. The threat here is that states will mandate conflicting standards. This could disrupt the power grid.
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From: "Dave Hall"
Subject: Re: States and utilities
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 19:51:39 -0500
Folks, I hope that there is some consideration for WHAT you can mandate at the state level. If Ohio mandates a certain Year 2000 standard for compliance and Iowa mandates another standard for compliance, we could end up with every utility being faced with meeting multiple standards for each state they operate in. And how about the companies that don't own anything but the power? How can you mandate that they, who do not own any equipment or facilities, meet some state-mandated standard? Since there is no universal standard accepted as being "the standard" used to make equipment and systems Year 2000 compliant, then there is no possible way, IMHO, for ANY agency, state, organization, smaller that the Federal Government to "mandate" standards of Year 2000 compliance for the electric utilities. For any other agency to try will lead to significant disruptions in any program already ongoing, and will cause many resources to be spent uselessly. Can you imagine what the consequences would be if Ohio mandated that every mainframe program used in Ohio had to meet the YYYY standard of Year 2000 compliance? Well, that's the consequences of trying to mandate utility compliance at a state level.
If any of you have any influence with state POCs, legislatures, local boards, PLEASE, PLEASE, try to explain this to them. Try and get them to NOT establish their own standards or definitions of Year 2000 compliance. Get them to petition, holler, scream, etc. at Washington and Congress. Only at that level can "mandated" standards of Year 2000 compliance be useful. For any industry, but especially the electric utility industry.