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1998-05-20 23:16:54


Sprint in 1998: Guarded Language, No News



Sprint's confident language in its 1997 press release is gone. Here we experience the rhetorical style of a document edited and re-edited by lawyers.

Generally, you call in the lawyers when you expect trouble. What kind of trouble? "Miscalculations or system failures." "A material effect on Sprint's operations." That sort of thing.

* * * * * * * * *

The "Year 2000" issue affects Sprint's installed computer systems, network elements, software applications, and other business systems that have time-sensitive programs that may not properly reflect or recognize the year 2000. Because many computers and computer applications define dates by the last two digits of the year, "00" may not be properly identified as the year 2000. This error could result in miscalculations or system failures.

Sprint started a program in 1996 to identify and address the Year 2000 issue. It is taking an inventory of its network and computer systems and is creating and implementing plans to make them Year 2000 compliant. Sprint is using both internal and external sources to identify, correct or reprogram, and test its systems for Year 2000 compliance. The total cost of modifications and conversions is not known at this time; however, it is not expected to be material to Sprint's financial position, results of operations or cash flows and is being expensed as incurred.

The Year 2000 issue may also affect the systems and applications of Sprint's customers, vendors or resellers. Sprint is also contacting others with whom it conducts business to receive the appropriate warranties and assurances that those third parties are, or will be, Year 2000 compliant.

If compliance is not achieved in a timely manner, the Year 2000 issue could have a material effect on Sprint's operations. However, Sprint is focusing on identifying and addressing all aspects of its operations that may be affected by the Year 2000 issue and is addressing the most critical applications first. As a result, Sprint management does not believe its operations will be materially adversely affected.


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