Executives at American Telephone & Telegraph Co. have suffered more than their share of high blood pressure over network outages. Now, they're hoping to renew the company's reputation for quality--and give rivals a bit of hypertension--with a network-management service called AT&T Hi-Per-T. They're testing the service with a few customers and hope to announce its availability "in the next several months," says William E. Gilbert, director of network management.
Businesses that subscribe to Hi-Per-T will be promised at least 99.8% disruption-free time on their leased T1 circuits, which carry the equivalent of 24 voice channels. The service, including extra communication links, will cost roughly $200 to $600 a month per T1 circuit--on top of the cost of the T1 itself, which is about $6,000 a month for a distance of 500 miles. The key to Hi-Per-T is a circuit-monitoring system developed by Clear Communications Corp. in Lincolnshire, Ill. Clear's system gives an early warning of the gradual deterioration of a circuit, which precedes about 70% of all circuit failures. That gives AT&T time to fix the problem or move the traffic to another line. If Hi-Per-T circuits don't perform to spec, AT&T will waive the monthly fee.