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Special Event

Millennium 2000: Minor Problems Still Expected from Y2K Bug

Aired January 3, 2000 - 5:08 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN ANCHOR: Experts say the coming days will tell whether the world has really escaped the millennium bug. President Bill Clinton's top Y2K adviser says he expects some minor problems as U.S. citizens get back to work.

CNN's Kathleen Koch joins us with more now on this from the national Y2K center in Washington -- Kathleen.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Colleen, 90 percent of business computers have been shut down over the weekend, so clearly it's impossible to tell whether or not they are free of Y2K glitches until Americans head into work this morning and turn them on.

Now, as you may know, several banks were open on Saturday and they experienced no problems, so no change is expected there today.

Volume, of course, will go up on phone lines, but AT&T representatives here at the Y2K command center say that there has been no problem in Europe, so they expect none here.

But with all this good news you can imagine that the president's Y2K adviser continues to be peppered with questions about whether or not the $100 billion spent here in the U.S. alone to squash the Y2K bug was really necessary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KOSKINEN, PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL ON Y2K CONVERSION: While we've made it look too easy in many ways, because it has been the success it has and appears to have been, it is important to put it in the right context as we go forward. And as I've said on numerous occasions in the past, individual companies didn't spend in many cases hundreds of millions of dollars for public relations efforts, they're not susceptible to responding to hype. They actually spent that money because their systems were at risk, it was an urgent management issue that they dealt with, appears to everyone now very successfully.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOCH: We are being told that clearly some glitches could still crop up. Many small businesses did not take any Y2K precautions whatsoever, so the Small Business Administration will be monitoring their progress around the country today. Also, a federal report in October had estimated that about a third of the nation's public schools were not ready for Y2K, so we could see some problems there in systems such as heating or food preparation or teaching payroll.

But still optimism really reigns here, and they say that if things do go well, by the end of the day we may be able to declare victory over that blasted Y2K bug.

Reporting live at the Information Coordination Center, I'm Kathleen Koch. Back to you.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thanks, Kathleen.

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