TESTING ediTesting EDI as one of the most important stages during integration with AT&T

Testing EDI Connectivity phase sets the communication link between AT&T and its partners. It does not test the 811 standard. Testing EDI stage is successful when:

  • AT&T sends a transaction to your mailbox
  • You retrieve the transaction
  • You pass it to your translator
  • You produce a 997 acknowledgment
  • You send the acknowledgment to AT&T.

The 997 functional acknowledgment is a basic transaction that most translators produce automatically and is a function to consider when evaluating translator packages.

Development of the EDI Billing Application

The Development of the EDI Billing Application phase produces and tests a billing application that effectively process your billing data as determined in phase two. Depending on your bill processing system’s functionality, this could be the most time-consuming phase. Complex applications may require several months. Some companies process the EDI Summary Bill before attempting the more complex EDI Detail Bill.

Standards Testing

The Standards Testing EDI implementation phase ensures that your translator and billing application process the 811 transaction set as required. AT&T transmits a small subset of your accounts to test for a limited period. The test period is determined by the customer, but 8 to 12 weeks is generally sufficient. AT&T requires at least 2 to 6 weeks advance notification from the customer before testing EDI transmissions begin. This time is required to capture the selected accounts’ data in AT&T billing system.

Parallel Transmissions

The Parallel Transmissions phase builds user confidence with the new EDI system. During this phase, both EDI and the paper (or other format) bills are sent to the customer. The customer should identify all accounts that are to be transmitted and submit them to AT&T for processing. To verify that both formats are producing similar results, AT&T provides parallel billing data transmission for six months at no charge.

Paper Bill Elimination

The Elimination of the Paper Bill phase discontinues the paper bill to avoid the charges for receiving both EDI and paper formats. There are two paper bill elimination options:

  1. Total elimination (is available to customers who pay their bills electronically).
  2. Receive the remittance page and bill summary (is available to continue to receive the Remittance Only Bill and Summary page).


Telecommunications bills are dynamic documents. Expanding services and their consequent impact on billing significantly affects EDI software updates and supporting documentation. AT&T minimizes software changes by fitting new telecommunications services into existing EDI billing structures whenever possible. AT&T provides 30 to 60-day notification to a designated customer representative of EDI Billing Products revisions, which may or may not involve software changes. When using EDI software packages that are customized for AT&T, the software updates are at the discretion of the software provider.

AT&T transmits ASC X12 Version 4, Release 1, of the 811-transaction set. AT&T may not implement a new 811 version/release every time the ASC X12 committee issues a new version or release of the transaction set. When AT&T changes to a new ASC X12 version/release of the 811 transaction set, the previous version/release is discontinued after an interval in which customers are asked to migrate to the new version/release.

Interested in custom-on-site EDI trainings? Visit EDI Academy web-site and learn more about corporate seminars.

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