Many large government and commercial private networks are not currently fully interoperable with the public switched networks: They operate according to a different set of protocols and standards. These networks, if fully interconnected with the public networks, could augment NSEP resources. Another impediment to end-to-end interconnectivity is the possibility that many terminal devices will not be entirely compatible with network interface standards.

Recommendation No. 11: Retain Existing Synchronization

As existing network synchronization levels already exceed those required for national security emergency preparedness, no action need be taken to increase the robustness of network synchronization beyond existing standards for normal network operation; designers of terminal devices should engineer them to operate satisfactorily under system synchronization standards. (Chapter 5)

In one respect, that of network synchronization, the existing and prospective network capabilities appear more than sufficient to meet present and future NSEP requirements. The committee examined network synchronization in detail and concluded that the present standards ensure an adequate margin of safety. However, because users have full freedom to connect registered terminal devices to the public networks, it is incumbent upon equipment designers to build units that function properly within existing network synchronization standards.

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In essence, the vulnerabilities stemming from changes in network regulation, technology, competition, and customer demand are not significantly offset by any countertrend. Robust systems such as NETS will be necessary to enable the government to carry out vital NSEP responsibilities. Civil emergencies will also require enhancements and backup to the capabilities of networks whose architectures are being driven primarily by economic incentives rather than by security concerns. Otherwise, serious losses will threaten governmental, commercial, and personal pursuits.

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