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1997-11-11 10:49:47


Australia's Phone System Is at Risk



Telstra, a big part of Australia's phone system, is not y2k compliant. It has just been hit by an increased y2k repair bill of $400 million -- up four to one. It cannot guarantee that it will be compliant.

But, then again, who can?

* * * * * * * * *

[Peter] De Jager posed the question: how much money should a company set aside if it meant its survival?

"Imagine what it will be like if you don't have a dial tone in the year 2000,'' he said. " You can guarantee that if Australia doesn't have a dial tone for a month, it will no longer be the lucky country.''

On page 34 of the prospectus, Telstra says: "There can be no assurance that this programme will be successful or that the date change from 1999 to 2000 will not materially affect Telstra's operations or financial results.''

It further specifies that Telstra might be a casualty of system failures if other networks or third-party suppliers trip each other up. . . .

"How long can you survive without the service that broke because of the Year 2000 Bug?'' De Jager asked of guests at the Millennium Technologies Group breakfast last week. "Three days for a dial tone? One month for accounting systems? And then you have to ask will it take a day to fix, a week to fix, or longer?''


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