Long a requirement for equipment used in the Central Office in the North American Public Switched Network, the rigorous Network Equipment Building System (NEBS) criteria have become a universal measure of network product excellence.
Reliability of the telephone system is considered a national security issue, is demanded by consumers, and makes good business sense. Therefore, NEBS testing is taken very seriously by both the RBOCs and other service providers.
Deploying NEBS certified network equipment is a key advantage for access providers including ILECs, CLECs, CAPs, ISPs, ASPs, and, of course, RBOCs. Products that are NEBS certified are also expected to be top performers in enterprise network environments as well.
These terms are often casually used by equipment vendors as though they were synonymous. This is not the case. Most NEBS testing laboratories publish their testing procedures. Products that claim to be "compliant" are merely reproducing the rigorous testing procedures in-house (and very rarely perform them all).
While that makes for a better product than one that hasn't been tested in-house, it is still a long way from sending equipment to a nationally recognized testing facility and paying them tens of thousands of dollars to make absolutely certain that a piece of equipment meets the demanding standards NEBS certification requires.
The most successful telecommunication providers choose only NEBS-certified equipment. Shouldn't you?