At Bell: waiting for the midnight hour

In some ways, residents of Canada had it easy. By the time the year 2000 rolled in across the nation, the suspense and dread was greatly reduced as we watched first Oceania, then Asia, Europe and Africa sail through more or less unscathed.

For those at the Bell Canada command centres there was an added sense of comfort in knowing they were not alone.

“By the time it was midnight here we had been through 18 hours of the rollover around the globe. We use a fair amount of Nortel equipment and Nortel’s equipment is used around the globe. As we saw other telephone companies coming through it fine, we certainly were encouraged that we would experience the same sort of thing,” said Don Doucette, director of corporate communications for Bell Canada in Montreal.

Though there was the added advantage of watching other global communications giants hit midnight before them, the people at Bell were by no means casual about their turn.

“We certainly weren’t blas