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major phone company & y2k



internet company documents suggest severe problems


------- Forwarded Message
Subject:     Y2K Alert - 12/17/98 - Internal documents reveal telecomm 
truth
Sent:        12/16/98 11:50 PM
Received:    12/17/98 10:37 PM
From:        [email protected]
To:          Eddie Pons, [email protected]

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SECRET DOCUMENTS REVEAL Y2K TELECOMM TRUTH: A MAJOR
LONG-DISTANCE COMPANY KNOWS THEY WON'T MAKE IT
(But they won't admit it publicly...)

Y2KNEWSWIRE recently received a collection of internal documents
from an employee at one of the major long-distance companies. The
documents appear to be genuine. However, to avoid copyright
infringement, we cannot reprint them here.

But we *can* paraphrase the documents without violating
copyright law, and that's what we're going to do in this alert.
We feel it is our responsibility to inform the public the truth
about Y2K problems at large telecommunications companies.

We are withholding the name of the company because frankly, the
name does not matter. We think *all* the major telecommunications
firms are in the same position. The problems described by this
one are not unique. Every firm is playing the same spin game,
avoiding a public admission of Y2K-guilt while privately,
internally, they all know the situation is hopeless.

Here's what we found in one particular document:

[COMPANY] SUMMARIZES THE PROBLEM
In the first part of the document, the company simply summarizes
the Y2K problem.

[COMPANY] ADMITS ENTIRE SYSTEMS COULD BE SHUT DOWN
Mid-way through the documents, the company acknowledges that
corrupt data could cause the shutdown of entire systems. They
quote a study of network switch components conducted by Bellcore,
describing how they were completely locked up after a simulated
2000 rollover.

The company then refers to this as the, "Killer aspect" of the
system. Then, the documents describe the company's ongoing
efforts to solve the problem, pointing out that the deadline,
"absolutely cannot slip."

[COMPANY] ESTIMATES ITS EXPOSURE
The company then says it has between 80 and 100 million lines of
code that might be affected by the Millennium Bug. It goes on to
call the bug a "virus," which is technically incorrect, but close
enough for telecommunications work, apparently.

Then the company describes another test of a Bellcore switch
that experienced a frightening shutdown due to an expiring
license date problem. The switch shut down completely. Another
component apparently worked until April of 2000 (in simulation),
then it, too, shut down as the daylight savings time change was
attempted.

[COMPANY] ADMITS THEY CAN'T MAKE IT!
Then, the company's internal document claims that fixing the
problem is, "too large a task" to finish in time. There simply
aren't enough staff hours, according to these documents.

The company then goes on to describe a strategy of triage:
they'll accept failures in *some* systems in order to focus on
the BIG ones. And that's the big challenge, they say: identifying
the big systems and getting them remediated in time.

THAT'S IT!
The document then ends with a warning that all documentation is
for internal use only and cannot be distributed outside the
company.


WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Publicly, this company is telling people they will complete all
Y2K remediation on time. We now have proof this is a *con job*
designed to deceive customers and investors. And we suspect this
is the situation with *most* companies. Internally, when the
engineers sit around the lunch table, they all know the situation
is basically hopeless. There simply isn't enough time remaining.
But publicly, these companies vigorously defend their positions,
claiming *everything* will be finished before 2000 and using
classic denial phrases like, "We're well on our way..." and, "...
the vast majority of our critical systems will be done."

This is exactly why 2000 is going to be the biggest shocker
we've seen in a generation. It's the moment at which all Y2K lies
and deceptions are revealed. The spin melts away to reality.

IT'S BEEN A WHILE
Americans haven't seen this for a long, long time. Deceptions
are the norm these days, and "truth" and "reality" seem to be
relative -- especially in politics. The people in power have
actually come to believe that words equal reality. If they say it,
it must be true.

Y2K is the one event that cannot be persuaded. It does not
listen to spin and hype. It doesn't have a "mind" to be subjected
to mind games. It will simply happen -- precisely on schedule.

Remember, bureaucrats are not used to operating under these
circumstances. Take the stock market, for instance. Because the
stock market is essentially a vehicle of faith, when Clinton says
the stock market is good, it *is* good because people believe him.
The words have a direct causal effect. Y2KNEWSWIRE thinks
politicians have forgotten that Y2K doesn't work that way. If all
spinsters on the planet gathered together and gave us their best
hype, it would still have zero effect on fixing the Millennium
Bug.

This is the point they don't understand. Do you wonder why John
Koskinen continues telling people the federal government will
have absolutely no Year 2000 problems? He's in spin mode, not
reality mode. And he seems to believe his spin will somehow solve
the problem.

That's why 2000 will be a reality-check for at least half the
population. Here's a completely objective issue that cannot be
swayed by politics or persuasion. It's a pre-programmed event
designed into the system. It can't be bargained with or reasoned
with. And it most certainly won't listen to spin.
 

SOCIAL SECURITY LIKELY TO MAKE IT
This is virtually the *only* Y2K-compliance claim we believe.
Social Security is going to make the deadline, no kidding.

Why is that?

They've spent *a decade* (employing over 700 programmers) to fix
the bug. And they'll be done in June of 1999. Aside from the
programmers, over 2800 people worked on the problem.

This is exactly why the claims from other agencies that started
much later -- like the FAA -- are simply lacking all credibility.
Do the math here: 700 programmers x 10 years = 1,750,000
person-days of work. That's fourteen million hours of work, and
that doesn't even count the 2800 *non-programmers.*

So Social Security has spent 14 million hours correcting this
problem, according to their own statement. How many hours has the
FAA spent?

Frankly, we don't know. But to equal 14 million hours in just
two years (because they really weren't seriously working on it
until early 1998), they would need to employ 3,500 programmers
working full time!

WHY WASN'T SOCIAL SECURITY FINISHED IN 1991?
If these projects could really be completed in two years, why
wasn't Social Security done in 1991? Why did it take TEN years to
complete the job? If John Koskinen is to be believed, *all*
federal projects, no matter how late they started, will be done
in plenty of time. And that means two years is quite enough for
most agencies. Why did Social Security take ten, then?

You already know the answer.

Note, however, that without telecommunications or banking,
Social Security's compliance doesn't matter.

Read the details at:
http://www.amcity.com/atlanta/stories/1998/12/14/focus5.html


SURVEY REVEALS INSIDER PESSIMISM
According to this San Diego Daily Transcript story (link below),
the Aberdeen Group conducted a survey at November's COMDEX
computer show. Here are some of the more interesting survey
results:

* Less than half are confident their organization's "mission
critical" desktop computer applications will work in 2000
* 20% said their organizations haven't even finished the Y2K
assessment stage
* 53% said they were "unsure" whether their compliant systems
could be effectively shielded from corruption by non-compliant
systems

Read more details at:
http://www.sddt.com/files/library/98/12/07/tca.html


U.N. TO DEPLOY Y2K SWAT TEAMS
These are basically "crisis intervention teams" that would visit
countries with the worst problems and try to solve them. Question:
if international transportation is down, how will the SWAT teams
get around? Read the details in this CNN report:
http://cnn.com/TECH/computing/9812/12/y2k.un/


NEW ZEALAND COMPLIANCE PLANS NEAR COLLAPSE
As this "Radio NZ" report reveals, plans to make public sector
groups Y2K compliant are on the point of collapse. Read the
details at:
http://www.year2000.co.nz/y2krnz01.htm


READER MAIL
"I spoke with my bank (US Bank in Portland) and asked them about
buying gold and silver coins. The bank employee looked at me and
asked, "Y2K?" and I responded "Yes". She told me that I was about
the 150th person this month to inquire about the conversion on
assets to gold. She advised me to call the brokerage division of
the bank."
________________

"At Grand Union in Smithtown, New York, I had a clerk recently
ask me if we
were invaded or something because so many people had packed the
store for the can goods sale. At Waldbaums's in Ronkonkoma, when
they put 20lb bags of
rice on sale (about once a month) they FLY out the door. I saw
one lady buying
three."
________________

"Just a few weeks ago, diesel generators were readily available
in the southern AZ area. Now there are none to be found. We are
looking for one (obviously we postponed too long) and my husband
remembered a large lumber/building supply store in a smaller AZ
town that has always had a large supply of all kinds of
generators (they service many contractors). He drove up there
today and found they had ONE generator, a small 500 watt gas-type,
on the shelf."


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