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Summary and Comments

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Category: 

Telecommunications

Date: 

1997-07-22 00:00:00

Subject: 

Global Crisis Looming, Says British Telecom Official

  Link:

http://www.computerweekly.co.uk/news/17_7_97/08598503239/A.html

Comment: 

COMPUTERWEEKLY NEWS (July 17) reports on a statement by the chairman of Britain's Telecommunications Managers Association, Martin Hart. He warned of a collapse of the global communications network unless there is an international effort to coordinate y2k repairs.

He attacked Britain's Department of Trade and Industry for failing to reply to his three letters calling for help.

He warned of a problem in noncompliant switching equipment. [This moves the discussion from telephone computer problems in billing to actual engineering -- the heart of the system.] "Unless it [the Department of Trade] gets suppliers to address the issue immediately, telecoms and equipment could stop functioning on 1 January [2000]. This could mean that we won't be able to make any calls outside the UK."

Another problem is ancient legacy systems. "Networks and telecoms equipment tends to hang around longer and get replaced less often than standard PC equipment."

This brief article raises issues that have been confined previously to "apocalyptic" reports. If international telecommunications go down, the Western economy will go down. Without phones, the banks are dead. So is every other communications system except amateur radio.

This is a very important article. I hope it stays posted.

You can read the first TMA's letter (April) to the Department of Trade and Industry at:

http://www.tma.org.uk/industry/millenium/dtiletter.htm

The third letter, sent three months later, can be read at:

http://www.tma.org.uk/industry/millenium/dtiletter2.htm

Link: 

http://www.computerweekly.co.uk/news/17_7_97/08598503239/A.html

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