In January 2000, the FCC revised the charter of the Council "to provide recommendations to the FCC and to the telecommunications industry that, when implemented, will assure optimal reliability and interoperability of public telecommunications networks."
In March 2000, then FCC Chairman William E. Kennard and then Commissioner Michael K. Powell announced that James Q. Crowe, President and CEO of Level 3 Communications, Inc., would chair the next term of NRIC V.
The FCC charted NRIC V with the specific mission of providing advice and recommendations to the FCC on issues of reliability, interoperability, and security arising in a multi-provider, multi-technology environment.
A primary motivator behind the charter for NRIC V was the FCC's conclusion that it is "compelled to play a role in fostering timely, fair, and open development of standards for current and future technologies." The FCC concluded that a Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) was the appropriate forum to advise it on spectrum compatibility standards and spectrum management practices to ensure the competitive deployment of advanced services.
In addition, the NRIC V charter charged the Council with the general responsibility of "provid[ing] recommendations to the FCC and to the telecommunications industry that, when implemented, will assure optimal reliability and interoperability of public telecommunications networks."
The charter, which is included in the Report as Appendix A set out three subject matters for the Council to address. To meet this mandate, the Council established four Focus Groups. The reports of the focus groups and the complete Report to the Nation delivered to the FCC on January 4, 2002, Network Reliability and Interoperability Council V - The Future of Our Nation's Communications Infrastructure, is available in each of its several sections electronically through the links on the main NRIC V page.
Focus Group 2: Network Reliability. Chair, Brian Moir, International Communications Association
Focus Group 2.A.2: Best Practices on Packet Switching. Karl Rauscher, Lucent Technologies
The purpose of the Best Practices Subcommittee was to provide recommendations to the FCC and to the telecommunications industry that, when implemented, will assure optimal reliability of public telecommunications networks, including assuring optimal packet switched network reliability.
Key Learnings of the subcommittee include:
- High Level of Best Practice Implementation in industry
- Best Practices are effective in promoting network reliability
- Most Best Practices are not high in cost to implement
- There is risk to not implement Best Practices
- Existing Best Practices are sufficient, if implemented, in preventing outages reported under the NRIC V Subcommittee 2.B1 Trial
Focus Group 2.B.1: Data Reporting and Analysis. Chair, P.J. Aduskevicz, AT&T Corporation
The objectives of the NRIC V Data Reporting and Analysis Subcommittee were to 1) implement and evaluate a voluntary one-year outage reporting trial recommended by NRIC IV, 2) recommend improvements in mandatory outage reporting, and 3) evaluate and report on the reliability and availability of the Public Switched Telephone Network.
The subcommittee developed the following consensus recommendations on voluntary trial reporting for those service providers not currently required to report outages:
- Based on the limited participation in the trial, Subcommittee 2.B1 recommends that the voluntary trial be terminated.
- With the heightened sensitivity to sharing information on network outages in public, Subcommittee 2.B1 recommends that the FCC not initiate rulemaking on outage reporting for those service providers not currently required to report outages in accordance with Part 63 of the
- Based on the conclusion that other forums, such as Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) and industry associations, are best suited to address information sharing and root cause analysis, Subcommittee 2.B1 recommends that industry fully support participation in such forums.
As set out in more detail in this Report, the subcommittee also developed three consensus recommendations on mandatory reporting for those service providers currently required to report outages.
Focus Group 2.B.2: Data Reporting & Analysis on Packet Switching. Chair, Paul Hartman, Beacon Consulting
A primary task of Focus Group 2.B.2 was to define the term "outage" as it applies to the public Internet. In particular the Focus Group was to determine whether the definition of an outage applicable to circuit switching makes sense in a packet switching environment. The Focus Group determined that while there is much industry activity in the area of performance measurements, the traditional standards bodies that work on these issues are not quite ready with recommendations on what the metric or standard, e.g., numbers vs. measurements, should be in the area of outages in a packet switching environment. The Focus Group recommends, therefore, that the efforts of these and other groups be monitored for the expected delivery of these metrics or standards.
Focus Group 3: Wireline Network Spectral Integrity. Chair, Ed Eckert, Catena Networks
The mission of the NRIC V Wireline Network Spectral Integrity (WNSI) Focus Group was to provide recommendations to the FCC and to the telecommunications industry that, when implemented, will: ensure the integrity of coexisting services in wireline public telecommunications networks; facilitate widespread and unencumbered deployment of xDSL and associated wireline high speed access technologies, and; encourage network architecture and technology evolution that safeguards the integrity of wireline public telecommunications networks while maximizing capacity, availability and throughput in an unbundled/competitive environment.
Focus Group 3 produced seven recommendations and one White Paper during its charter. The recommendations, discussed in detail in this Report, addressed the following topics:
- New Technology, Frequency Planning.
- Ingress/Egress Issues; In-Premises Wireline Transmitters.
- Equipment Registration, Application of Part 68 to xDSL TU-R (Customer Located Equipment).
- Intermediate Transceiver Unit (TU) Issues.
- Line Sharing Test Access.
- Intermediate TU Issues - Remote DSL.
- Exchange of spectrum management information between loop owners, service providers and equipment vendors.
Since no consensus could be attained on a solution for the friendly coexistence of CO-based and remote DSL deployment (Recommendation #6 remand), it was agreed that the Focus Group would produce a white paper to address the outstanding issues. The White Paper is included in full in the Report.
Focus Group 4: Interoperability. Chairs, Ross Callon, Juniper Networks and Scott Bradner, Harvard University
The purpose of NRIC V Focus Group 4 was to provide recommendations to the FCC and to the telecommunications industry that, when implemented, will facilitate and assure interoperability of public data networks.
The Focus Group produced two outputs:
- A short statement recommending that Internet providers, and especially the largest Internet providers, consider, consistent with their business practices, publication of their criteria for peering; and
- An informational paper discussing Internet protocol (IP) service provider interconnection, peering, and transit service.
The Focus Group notes that the area of IP service provider interconnection is somewhat complex, and is an area where there has been significant interest both in the United States and internationally. The Focus Group therefore offers the informational White Paper attached as part of this Report as an aid to ongoing discussions in this area.