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1998-05-26 12:15:46


Florida Power & Light: Halfway There (1995-98)



This is a brief lesson in arithmetic. Arithmetic and investigative journalism no longer seem to be connected.

Florida Power & Light discovered the y2k problem in 1995. Early or late in the year, we are not told. Today, the company is "halfway through."

Let's see: 1995 to mid-1998 = 36 months, more or less.

Late May, 1998 to Jan. 1, 2000 = 19 months.

Halfway through.

If I had been the reporter, I would have asked another question. Can you think of the question?

This is from the ORLANDO SENTINEL (May 25).

* * * * * * * *

Miami-based FP&L, for example, began reviewing its information systems as early as 1995 and is about halfway through making the necessary changes, said Nancy Brock, year 2000 project manager.

As with other utilities who have nuclear plants, the company is working to get certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as year 2000-compliant.

Overall, FP&L's year 2000 price tag is $20 million and rising, said Dennis Klinger, vice president of information management. Fixing embedded systems is expected to add significantly to that figure, but no estimate is yet available, he said.

FP&L expects to finish repairing its systems and testing the year 2000 solutions by late 1998, officials said. Some work may extend into 1999 because of equipment delivery and installation schedules.

St. Petersburg-based Florida Power Corp. projects a similar schedule, with implementation and testing of year 2000 solutions expected to be completed by third quarter 1999.

Correcting information systems alone is estimated to cost $8 million, but there is no estimate yet for doing the embedded systems work, officials said.

Florida Power's year 2000 planning began in 1995 when it began to buy and install upgraded customer service computers and other systems that did not have the software flaw, utility spokeswoman Mary Estes said.

However, the company has determined that at least 11,000 mainframe software programs and 14 million lines of code will be affected by the problem, according to its report to the PSC. It has no estimate so far on how many embedded systems will be hit.


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