FCC outage filings

I'm in Washington DC this week, so I decided to go down to the FCC and
read the carrier outage reports myself. As I mentioned before, the outage
reporting requirements are aimed mostly at local exchange carrier events.
Therefore large LEC's tend to be over-represented in the reports. There
also seems to be the usual corporate games with what gets reported and what

Here is a list of everyone who filed one ore more FCC outage reports
in 1998 through Oct 5, 1998. Does it really tell you anything? Not
really. For example, notice the absence of GTE and Illuminet from the
list. Does this mean Illuminet and GTE were so reliable they didn't
have a single outage in 1998. Or the filing requirements don't really
capture today's business structures. Sometimes you find Worldcom filing
an outage report about an MCI fiber cut which Worldcom was leasing some
circuits, but I didn't find an equivalent filing by MCI about the fiber
cut. You could really tell the confusion in the Illuminet SS7 failure
which affected lots of carriers. Some other carriers filed outage
reports, some withdrew their filings, others never reported anything.

Because of the problems I see with who reports what, I'm not going
to rank, or give counts for individual carriers. This list is in
alphabetical order.

bell atlantic
bell south
century telephone
puerto rico telephone
virgin islands islands

It was interesting to read the reports. Anyone who has ever worked
in a NOC would love some of the comments. Everyone really does go
through the same stupid stuff. Here's my ranking of the most common
reasons for FCC reportable outages, in order for most to least.

  Fiber/cable cuts
  Power (mostly weather related)
  Operator/Maintenance errors
  Hardware (C.O.) failures
  Software errors
  Animal (gopher)

I did find that Worldcom is getting a bit annoyed at the number of
fiber cuts and service disruptions they are experiencing. In several
of their most recent filings they've started identifying the responsible
parties by name, e.g. Qwest, Metromedia Fiber Systems, CSX.