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NEBS is Crucial in Order to Ensure High Quality Equipment

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July 25, 2011

NEBS is Crucial in Order to Ensure High Quality Equipment

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor


A long standing requirement for equipment utilized within in the Central Office in the North American Public Switched Network, the stringent Network Equipment Building System (NEBS) criteria continues to be looked upon universally as a guarantee of network product excellence.


NEBS is viewed as a standard that has the ability to address the issue of collocated electronic equipment. In most situations, telephone companies usually place a great amount of network equipment from multiple manufacturers that need to seamlessly integrate with each other in their central office buildings. To ensure that these different types of equipment can interoperate successfully, the FCC (News - Alert) and numerous national and international trade and standards worked together to create a set of rigorous guidelines for network facilities located equipment. First developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories in the 1970s and then expanded by Bellcore, these requirements became Network Equipment Building System (NEBS) Requirements.

In a statement, Jeff Hudgins, vice president of marketing at NEI (News - Alert), said he believes NEBS certification is still used today due to several factors. “There are a couple of primary reasons. First, the standard has really stood the test of time, as it has been around for 40 years or more. NEBS is still actively used, reviewed, and updated on a continuous basis by Telcordia (News - Alert) so it remains a very active standard that is monitored and updated by a standard body.”

NEBS compliant equipment is a crucial for providers such as Local Exchange Carriers (LECs), Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and Access Service Providers (ASPs), according to a recent article. These products offer providers a key competitive advantage, as they are expected to always perform at the top of their class in enterprise network environments.

In addition, the article added that NEBS criteria was designed to ensure equipment compatibility with the telephone industry's electrical environment; simplify equipment planning and installation; protect telecommunications equipment from service outages caused by incompatible equipment; prevent interference to licensed radio transmitters and other close proximity telecommunications equipment; minimize the risk of fires to telecommunications equipment; ensure equipment operation under the range of temperature, humidity, vibration, and airborne contamination present in telecommunications locations; ensure equipment and service survivability in the event of earthquake; and protect personnel from injury.

The article stated, “NEBS Criteria was designed to help assure that the equipment purchase is easy to install, operates reliably, and efficiently occupies building space. The expectation is that physical configurations and compatibility of equipment with a set of environmental conditions will help to reduce product installation and maintenance costs.”

In conclusion, NEBS is essentially a test of quality that is simply invaluable for any organization that is either supplying or looking to buy network equipment. The article commented that a product that is NEBS certified has already successfully passed a multitude of tests proving that the product will operate reliably and be easily fixed if needed, will not affect other service providing equipment, can fully operate in harsh environmental conditions and will keep the environment and employees safe and protected at all times. Non-NEBS certified equipment may not have the capabilities to perform along with other equipment and could cause network problems or failures that are extremely hard to diagnose.


Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein







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