Network Will Be Ready for Year 2000, Bell
Work on Testing and Readiness Plans Continues
June 22, 1999
NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic announced today that it is on
track to have its network and systems ready for January 1,
2000. "With six months to go, we have completed the
remediation work necessary to make sure our customers will
enjoy the same excellent service they have today on January 1,
2000," said Joe Castellano, president-Network and
Corporate Systems and the officer in charge of Bell Atlantic's
Year 2000 Program.
The company's first priority has been to take care of the voice
and data network and other mission-critical systems.
"This is the heart of our network," Castellano said.
"With the completion of this critical phase, the company
can focus on fine-tuning, additional testing and related
Bell Atlantic has spent more than four years assessing and
addressing the impact of the year 2000 date change on its
highly computerized business. "Because we understand
the enormity and complexity of the challenge to make our
network, applications and operating systems year 2000
compliant, our approach to the program has been
extraordinarily comprehensive and aggressive."
Virtually all of the more than 100,000 instances of network
equipment and related software in the company's 14-state
service area are compliant as of today. Work on the small
number of remaining items is expected to be completed in the
next few months without any impact on customer service or
operations. The company plans to issue a more detailed
description of its year 2000 status in conjunction with its
second quarter earnings report.
The testing and evaluation of date-sensitive equipment and
software has been a major piece of the effort. It involved
working with suppliers, conducting tests in Bell Atlantic's labs
and being a part of various telecommunications industry groups'
testing programs, all to ensure year 2000 fixes will work
Bell Atlantic and other major telecommunications carriers
formed the Telco Year 2000 Forum to test the interoperability
of common equipment and software involved in local call
processing. Out of the Forum's nearly 2,000 tests, only six
anomalies were found and none of these would have had an
impact on call completion. All six were fixed and retested and
they passed the test.
Bell Atlantic also is a member of the Alliance for
Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), which is
conducting inter-network testing of calls handed off from one
company's network to another, the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU), which is testing the
international gateways and the Cellular Telecommunications
Industry Association (CTIA), which is addressing year 2000
issues in the cellular industry.
Even though Bell Atlantic is confident 1/1/2000 will be just
another day when millions of voice, data and video messages
are processed by the company's network, Castellano stressed
that businesses and consumers need to make sure their own
telecommunications equipment is year 2000 compliant.
Individuals and businesses should contact the equipment
manufacturers and suppliers of their customer-premises
equipment (CPE) for compliance status. Examples of CPE are
Caller ID boxes, ISDN sets and PBX systems.
Year 2000 preparation and testing will continue during the
remainder of 1999. The company is also adding to its existing
emergency preparedness and disaster recovery plans to address
year 2000-specific risks.
Additional information about Bell Atlantic's year 2000 program
is available on www.bellatlantic.com/year2000.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine
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.