Bell Atlantic Reports No Problems with
Systems, Network During 9/9/99 Date Change
Company Exercise Tests Y2K Emergency Readiness
September 9, 1999
NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic's network performed flawlessly overnight
as the calendar rolled over to 9/9/99, a date that some suggested might be
read by software as an instruction to shut down programs and systems.
There were no problems with the computerized systems that process
phone calls and provide services such as home voice mail and directory
The company had tested the 9/9/99 date change as part of the extensive
assessment and remediation of Bell Atlantic's network and systems in
preparation for year 2000. It had been suggested by some experts that an
obsolete programming code -- 999999 -- would shut down computer
In June, Bell Atlantic reported that after more than four years of work,
year 2000 remediation of its network and mission critical systems was
essentially complete and that the rollover to the new millennium should be
smooth for its customers.
During a drill yesterday coinciding with the 9/9/99 rollover, Bell Atlantic
tested internal communications systems and processes that will be
employed during the watchful hours at year-end and into January as part
of the company's contingency planning and emergency readiness planning.
"By firing up and testing the internal communications channels
between our own business centers and among the other telephone
companies and the federal government, we gave our year 2000 processes a
good shakedown run," said Paul Leavitt, manager of National
Security/Emergency Preparedness for Bell Atlantic. "This practice
run allowed us to exercise the communications and control plans that we
have developed in preparation for possible Y2K events."
Starting Wednesday morning, Bell Atlantic and other telecommunications
companies also employed a "follow-the-sun" approach to
track any problems that might have developed in networks worldwide as
the date began to change to Sept. 9 in countries located in the Western
Pacific, just beyond the International Date Line. The companies have
joined together as the Telco Year 2000 Forum to work through Y2K
issues. Since so many systems and processes are common to all
telecommunications companies, time zone tracking provides an early
warning process for companies in the U.S. The same event tracking will
take place at the millennium rollover.
"As we expected, no anomalies have developed in global
telecommunications systems," Leavitt said. "We'll watch for
problems the rest of the day but are happy to report that the pre-event
hubbub vastly exceeded reality."
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines
and nearly 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic
companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data
services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest
publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also
among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.