This excerpt taken from the VRSN 10-K filed Mar 3, 2009.
The reliance of our Communications Services and Content Services on third-party communications infrastructure, hardware and software exposes us to a variety of risks we cannot control.
The success of our Communications Services and Content Services depends on our network infrastructure, including the capacity leased from telecommunications suppliers. In particular, we rely on AT&T, Sprint Nextel Corporation and other telecommunications providers for leased long-haul and local loop transmission capacity. These companies provide the dedicated links that connect our network components to each other and to our customers. Our business also depends upon the capacity, reliability and security of the infrastructure owned by third parties that is used to connect telephone calls. Specifically, we currently lease capacity from regional providers on four of the thirteen mated pairs of SS7 signal transfer points that comprise our network. SS7 is a
network control system comprised of protocols for the interpretation and use of network control and operation signals and the associated hardware and software needed for transmission, reception and interpretation of the signals.
We have no control over the operation, quality or maintenance of a significant portion of that infrastructure or whether or not those third parties will upgrade or improve their equipment. We depend on these companies to maintain the operational integrity of our connections. If one or more of these companies is unable or unwilling to supply or expand its levels of service to us in the future, our operations could be severely interrupted. In addition, rapid changes in the telecommunications industry have led to the merging of many companies. These mergers may cause the availability, pricing and quality of the services we use to vary and could cause the length of time it takes to deliver the services that we use to increase significantly.
Our SS7 Connectivity and Signaling Services rely on links, equipment and software provided to us from our vendors, the most important of which are gateway equipment and software from Tekelec and Agilent Technologies, Inc. We cannot assure you that we will be able to continue to purchase equipment from these vendors on acceptable terms, if at all. If we are unable to maintain current purchasing terms or ensure product availability with these vendors, we may lose customers and experience an increase in costs in seeking alternative suppliers of products and services.