NEBS is an acronym for Network Equipment-Building System. It is a standard used in telephony equipment. Many developers and sellers of telephony equipment create their products in compliance with the NEBS standards. This would prove to their customers that their products are properly built.

The main purpose of NEBS is to describe the environment of an RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company) Central Office. The factors described by NEBS include criteria related to space and physical environment.

The criteria related to space include cable entrance facilities, operations support systems, power equipment, distributing and interconnecting frames, and cable distribution systems. The environmental criteria include illumination, acoustic noise, office vibration, air contaminants, equipment handling, fire resistance, and temperature and humidity.

Apart from market recognition, adhering to the NEBS standards gives vendors and developers other significant benefits. By designing equipment that is compatible with an RBOC Central Office, vendors will have lower development expenses. Developers of telephony equipment will also find it much easier to introduce NEBS-compliant devices into their networks.

NEBS has three major levels:

  • NEBS Level 1 indicates that hazards that may affect people and equipment are minimized. This level also indicates that network degradation is at a low rate.
  • NEBS Level 2 addresses the issues of equipment operability in a controlled environment. This level is the least used among the three due to its ambiguity.
  • NEBS Level 3 indicates that the equipment can be used by the network within its maximum life span. This means that the equipment will operate in spite of environmental extremes that may occur within the office.