Definition Edit

National Research Council, Committee on Review of Switching, Synchronization and Network Control in National Security Telecommunications, Growing Vulnerability of the Public Switched Networks: Implications for National Security Emergency Preparedness (1989) (full-text).

Overview Edit

Networks of the future will be increasingly relied on for a remarkable variety of voice, data, and video services. It is thus of considerable concern that, because of powerful trends in the evolution of the nation's telecommunications and information networks, they are becoming more vulnerable to serious interruptions of service.

Because of changes in regulation, technology, and the interaction between competitive market incentives to cut costs and market-specific customer demand, tomorrow's networks will be at greater risk than today's. Regulation is opening major portions of the network to customer control; technologies — notably fiber optics, digital switching, and software control — are driving network assets into fewer, but more critical, network nodes; competition is reducing the incentives of providers to build redundancy into their networks; and customer demand is not stimulating deployment of network assets that are sufficiently robust to cover the full range of national security emergency preparedness (NSEP) contingencies.

This report makes a series of recommendations to reduce growing network vulnerabilities and thus provide adequate assurance that NSEP needs will be fully supported by the nation's public switched networks.

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