ATM-LAN Exchanger Installation

From Fiscal year 1996 Audit Report


Cases where Auditees Rectified System to Effectively Use Facilities


System Description


  1. Since fiscal year 1994, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has been developing Asynchronous Transfer Mode Local Area Networks (ATM-LANS) in national universities.

  2. ATM exchangers are core components within each national university’s ATM-LAN. They are connected with each other by optical fiber cables, and enable multi-media data - such as voice, image and character data - to be transmitted at high speed. Exchangers sort out data by destination, and convey it to the destination terminals they are connected to. One ATM exchanger can host a maximum of 32 terminals.

  3. The Administrative Departments of national universities receive requests for installation of ATM-LAN core components - such as exchangers and optical fiber cables - from individual university faculties. They design the specific ATM-LAN system based on such requests, and then submit ATM-LAN installation plans to the MOE. The MOE reviews and approves each university’s ATM-LAN installation plans.

Audit Findings

  1. The Board’s audit covered 31 national universities and 446 ATM exchangers. The audit revealed that the exchangers hosted, on average, only 34% of the maximum number of connectable terminals. Furthermore, 11 universities among the 31 universities audited had not connected any terminals to their exchangers, or had failed to use a smaller number of exchangers to connect their terminals more efficiently. Consequently, in these 11 universities, 118 exchangers were largely or entirely idle.

  2. The Board found that:

  1. the MOE had failed to provide universities with sufficient guidance on ATM-LAN installation;
  2. the MOE had failed to review universities' ATM-LAN installation plans thoroughly; and
  3. the Administrative Departments of universities had also failed to examine their faculties' ATM-LAN installation plans thoroughly.

  1. Following the Board’s findings, the MOE issued an administrative circular instructing national universities to establish university – wide ATM-LAN installation plans; to closely examine individual faculties' ATM-LAN use plans; and to scrutinize current ATM-LAN use, etc.


(Ministry of Education/Action Taken/ ¥529.72million: total of the purchasing prices of the idled ATM-LAN exchangers).


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