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Summary and Comments

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1997-08-13 11:00:58


World Telecommunications: No Coordination Plan



British Telecommunications, the largest British phone company, on April 22, 1997, sent a letter to the International Telecommunications Union. It outlined what needs to be done (read: has not been done) to solve the problem of international telecommunications. It admitted that there are no standards and no existing organization to enforce standards. In short, there is no sovereign international agency to create and declare standards, no organizational hierarchy to enforce standards, no standards, and no sanctions.

Perhaps the dozens of new satellites that are scheduled to be launched between now and 2000 will be able to substitute for breakdowns in the existing system. I don't see how this is possible, but I am no expert. But as for the existing international phone system, it cannot be made compliant by 2000. Whatever threat y2k poses for it will hit in full force in 2000. Those officials who supposedly are in authority have no authority and no plan. They have decided to remain mute.

Hello? Hello? Is anybody there?

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It is felt that it would be beneficial to all carriers for Year2000 issues and associated standards to be discussed and agreed via a working party. For the working party to be of value the following should be addressed :

Agreement on Year2000 conformity requirements

Year2000 testing standards

Agreement to distribute testing results, standard format.

Year2000 data and information sharing possibilities

Approaches to managing the Year2000 problem

The data collection aspects of the Year2000 project would benefit from a central body, like the ITU, holding Year2000 status information on each carrier, accessible by all carriers. This would have to be assessed by the working party and agreement is sought from all concerned. The information would be very basic as outlined overage and progress reports would be provided against milestones. . . .

Time is a limiting factor in this project and any such working party would have to commence swiftly. Please could you ascertain whether other members of the ITU would be willing to participate in a Year2000 working party.

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So far, no positive response has come from the ITU.


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