Outdated Procedures

By Shelley Solheim  |  Posted 2004-05-17 Print this article Print

?"> But CLECs (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers), including Qwest and MCI Corp., have argued recently in legal briefs that Verizons security procedures at some COs have been outdated and unevenly administered. During the burglary at the Verizon CO on 38th Street, for example, surveillance cameras were not operating, according to a police detective involved in the case.

But rather than protest publicly, the CLECs affected by the New York theft—Sprint, Qwest, XO Communications Inc. and Looking Glass Networks Inc., according to police—have downplayed the risks and consequences.

Crime Scene Timeline

May 2, about 10:30 p.m.: ISPs co-located at Verizons central office at 240 E. 38th St. experience a network outage when a node carrying 27 DS3 networking cards fails as a result of the theft of DS-3 cards.

May 3, about 6:20 a.m.: The New York Police Department completes its crime site investigation, and ISP technicians are granted access to begin restoring service. About 3:30 p.m.: Service is restored to ISP customers.

"There are many security issues that we do not comment on," said Sprint spokesperson Charles Fleckenstein in Overland Park, Kan.

The reluctance of CLECs to complain about CO security does not stem from an allegiance to the telcos but rather from a fear that too much criticism could get them ousted from the facilities, said sources familiar with the issue.

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Verizon has argued that existing security measures cannot prevent damage to the infrastructure. The company also has charged that increased foot traffic in the COs as a result of CLEC access increases the risk to national security, but it has not produced any evidence to support the view. In some places, Verizon sought unsuccessfully to limit CLEC access and, in others, to prohibit it altogether.

CLECs, for their part, have said Verizon is merely attempting to stymie competition under the guise of national security.

But documents filed in an ongoing investigation by the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy show that the theft in Manhattan was not unique. According to the records, there have been security lapses at some of Verizons other COs. The company has recorded broken locks on doors and co-location cages, destroyed card readers, disabled power systems and vandalism of equipment.

Verizon spokesperson Dan Diaz declined to comment on the theft, citing the ongoing investigation.

Check out eWEEK.coms Server and Networking Center at http://servers.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


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