The Network Reliability & Interoperability Council (NRIC) was the successor to the Network Reliability Council that was first organized by the FCC in January of 1992. The Council was established following a series of major service outages in various local exchange and interexchange wireline telephone networks in 1991. The Commission established the Council to study the causes of service outages and to develop recommendations to reduce their number and their effects on consumers.
The Council was composed of CEO-level representatives of about 35 carriers, equipment manufacturers, state regulators, and large and small consumers. Under its initial charter, the Council commissioned studies in the areas where the Council believed reliability concerns to be greatest — signalling (SS7), fiber cuts, switching systems, power failures, fires, 911 outages, and digital cross-connect systems. The NRC prepared reports on historical outage patterns and trends in these areas. It also reviewed telecommunications industry practices in providing mutual aid, and made recommendations on what level of service outages ought to be reported to the FCC.
The Council's analysis and nearly 300 recommendations, most of which were directed to the telecommunications industry, were delivered to the Commission and published in Network Reliability: A Report to the Nation.