of networks, is the communications resource upon which all levels of government and industry will depend to control and direct resources and assets. This network of networks is viewed as the U.S. nationwide telecommunications network, made up of many common carrier, private, institutional, research, and other networks.


For the federal government, the Manager of the National Communications System (NCS) has the responsibility to plan the architecture for a survivable communications capability to support the nation’s reconstitution in the event of a national emergency (Executive Office of the President, 1984). The responsibility for similar planning in the industrial sector does not exist. For the government’s part, considerable effort has been devoted to this undertaking. Three interrelated programs are being implemented that address organization, planning, and implementation of national security emergency preparedness (NSEP) telecommunications.

The programs are the Commercial Satellite Interconnectivity program, the Commercial Network Survivability program, and the Nationwide Emergency Telecommunications Service. These programs are cited in Chapter 2 and are described and analyzed fully in the committee’s interim report, which documented the first phase of the committee’s overall task to assist the NCS Manager (National Research Council, 1987). The committee wishes, at the outset, to commend the NCS for its diligence in carrying out its mission. NCS is addressing the problems posed by network vulnerabilities to the best of its ability, consistent with its current resources and powers. The committee also commends the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) for bringing together industry and government representatives to address NSEP issues.

However, the telecommunications industry as a whole has not sufficiently addressed survivability or other aspects of assuring system availability (Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1984; Telecommunications Reports, 1988).


The second phase of the committee’s work was to assess the vulnerabilities of the public switched networks to a variety of threats and to review the switching, synchronization, and network control aspects of

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