Appendix A
Statement of Task

The committee will review and assess the effectiveness of the Nationwide Emergency Telecommunications System* (NETS), a network control system for provision of survivable national security emergency preparedness (NSEP) telecommunications under development for the National Communications System; provide an independent review of the survivability of synchronization in digital networks; and assess the vulnerability of switching and signaling control in view of the increasing centralization of these functions. Specifically, the committee will perform the following tasks:

  1. The committee will review the objective of the NETS program, assess the approach that has been followed and the work that has been done, review technological developments that could provide alternatives to NETS, and make recommendations to ensure that future NETS work will be effective and can take advantage of advances in technology and of changes in the telecommunications environment. The committee will comment on the vulnerability of NETS, its technical longevity, and possible alternative technical approaches

*  

This was the original statement of the study task. Midway through the NETS study the National Communications System changed from “System” to “Service.” The committee has attempted to assess NETS in both systems and service aspects. Hereafter, in accordance with that change, the committee views apply to a service, not a system.



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OCR for page 89
Growing Vulnerability of the Public Switched Networks: Implications for the National Security Emergency Preparedness Appendix A Statement of Task The committee will review and assess the effectiveness of the Nationwide Emergency Telecommunications System* (NETS), a network control system for provision of survivable national security emergency preparedness (NSEP) telecommunications under development for the National Communications System; provide an independent review of the survivability of synchronization in digital networks; and assess the vulnerability of switching and signaling control in view of the increasing centralization of these functions. Specifically, the committee will perform the following tasks: The committee will review the objective of the NETS program, assess the approach that has been followed and the work that has been done, review technological developments that could provide alternatives to NETS, and make recommendations to ensure that future NETS work will be effective and can take advantage of advances in technology and of changes in the telecommunications environment. The committee will comment on the vulnerability of NETS, its technical longevity, and possible alternative technical approaches *   This was the original statement of the study task. Midway through the NETS study the National Communications System changed from “System” to “Service.” The committee has attempted to assess NETS in both systems and service aspects. Hereafter, in accordance with that change, the committee views apply to a service, not a system.

OCR for page 89
Growing Vulnerability of the Public Switched Networks: Implications for the National Security Emergency Preparedness to achieving its network control and survivability objectives. This review will be conducted prior to engaging in the succeeding two tasks.* The committee will conduct a review to assess the inventory of synchronization assets and will assess the extent to which synchronization vulnerabilities might be mitigated by exploiting distributed, interconnected subsets of the public switched network. It will assess whether adequate synchronization capabilities are likely to exist to support NSEP telecommunications during the weeks or months of NSEP telecommunications restoration and reconstitution after natural disaster or attack on the country, including nuclear attack. It will recommend technical approaches to developing cost-effective, survivable synchronization and will suggest technical program and management plans to realize these approaches. The committee will review the inventory of switching installations for survivability of switching and control functions after nuclear attack, considering redundancy and alternative connectivity. It will investigate emerging technologies such as burst and fast-packet switching for their possible applicability to cost-effective, survivable switching and network-control facilities. It will assess the adequacy of surviving facilities to support or restore NSEP telecommunications switching, and recommend enhancements or alternative technology approaches likely to enhance survivability. In particular, it will consider opportunities to decentralize routing control for precedence traffic and alternative technologies that could provide cost-effective decentralization with enhanced survivability. Technical programs and management plans will be suggested to realize the recommended approaches. DATE: November 3, 1986. *   Fulfilled by the committee’s interim report, Nationwide Emergency Telecommunications Service for National Security Telecommunications (1987).