A system and method for characterizing actual availability of a long-haul path in a telecommunications network. The present invention subdivides the long-haul path into distinct modular components and determines availability for each modular component of the long-haul path. A composite end-to-end availability figure is determined by summing the modular component availabilities. The present invention comprises a telecommunications network comprising a plurality of interconnected switches to carry and route telecommunications traffic among customer endpoints, and an entry and exit gateway for performing protocol conversion from one communication network to another. A network management system is connected to the interconnected switches in the telecommunications network via control links, for monitoring availability for the telecommunications network. The system also includes a network monitoring processor for monitoring telecommunication networks owned and operated by other service providers upon an agreement, a trans-oceanic network management system for monitoring availability of undersea telecommunication equipment owned and operated by the service provider, an extrapolation processor used to determine availability for the modular components of a network not capable of being monitored by the service provider, and a performance processor for determining a composite availability from a plurality of modular component availabilities.
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