Perceived Y2K problems

David Lesher wb8foz at
Thu Dec 2 03:22:23 UTC 1999

Unnamed Administration sources reported that Eric Germann said:
> Specifically, I was discussing with one of my telco guys about the
> sociological effects, namely, everyone watching the ball drop, then going
> off hook to see if they have dial tone, or dialing in to the Internet to
> see if it still works.  Since most switches aren't designed for 100% off
> hook load, anyone seen any studies as to whether the switches will crash
> from that?  

I strongly doubt it. A telco switch is designed to tolerate
extreme abuse without dying. What it WILL do is deny dial tone
to folks it can not handle, or delay it until it can. Further,
it will reject incoming calls as necessary to survive.

There is also a feature called "load control" I believe the
term is.  The LEC can make the switch reject incoming calls,
yet complete outgoing ones -- useful in a disaster area where
everyone suddenly calls to see if Grandma in Oakland is OK;
limit both, and variations of same.

Also, some lines can have priority; i.e. everyday folks get
no/slow dialtone, but Hizonner & the Fire Chief are OK...

Trivia: the independent Federal Telecommunications System [FTS]
sprang up from the Cuban Missile Crisis, where it's said JFK
could not get dialtone at the height of the shitinthefan. It
was dedicated switches in diverse locales.  Now it's all
software-defined additions to the ordinary switches. I'm not

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Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433
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