Network Equipment-Building System

What Does Network Equipment-Building System Mean?

Network Equipment-Building System (NEBS) is a set of technical specifications defined by the Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC) Central Office in the 1970s. The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure equipment compatibility between RBOC and third-party vendors.


There are three levels of NEBS certification, each addressing different issues.

Techopedia Explains Network Equipment-Building System

NEBS was aimed at helping vendors manufacture network equipment that is compatible with the Regional Bell Operating Company Central Office. This strategy would not only reduce the cost of production of equipment, but also help in establishing networks using the standard hardware required. Some of the largest telecommunication companies in US at the time included AT&T, Verizon, BellSouth and Qwest, all of which welcomed the introduction of regularization and formed the famous Telecommunications Carrier Group (TCG). Primary tasks of this group included synchronization of standards across the whole US. NEBS eventually became an industry requirement.

While NEBS is still in effect, some carriers use their own NEBS checklists rather than the standards originally set forth.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.