Service providers and enterprise customers continue to look for ways to improve their profitability through lower operating costs. The new AIC-I card allows network administrators to better monitor the health of the network, with additional visibility to the operations in remote, unstaffed facilities. The AIC-I card extends the capability of the Cisco ONS 15454 to retrieve environmental alarms and monitor the health of the system's power source. The AIC-I card supports standard orderwire capabilities as well as Synchronous Optical Network/Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SONET/SDH) overhead-based data channels, lowering the user's need for ancillary leased lines to support inter-central office and management connectivity. These features help reduce the overall costs of operating a network, resulting in improved return on investment (ROI). The AIC-I card enables the monitoring and event reporting of environmental conditions at remote facilities, and provides the ability to activate remote systems, such as warning lights and sirens, and secondary-power-generation equipment. The Cisco ONS 15454 AIC-I equipped SONET/ANSI shelf assembly will support up to 16 shelf-terminated alarm inputs and up to four shelf-terminated, Form-A output contact closures (provided as either inputs or outputs) with expansion capability to 32 inputs and 16 outputs with the use of an optional rear-chassis external Alarm Expansion Panel (AEP). The Cisco ONS 15454 AIC-I equipped SDH/ETSI shelf assembly will support 16 shelf-terminated alarm inputs and four shelf-terminated alarm outputs via the MIC-A/P FMEC card. The alarm inputs are provided for contact activation (normally open or normally closed), severity (critical, major, minor, or external condition), and alarm description. The voltage monitoring function enables the user to proactively determine the health of the input power source to the Cisco ONS 15454 SONET. The AIC-I will enable the reporting and alarming of voltage threshold crossings, providing visibility into network changes. The AIC-I data channels feature enables the use of SONET overhead bandwidth for the creation of data links for the network administrator's use, such as a data communication network for remote management data. The Cisco ONS 15454 AIC-I equipped system allows up to four point-to-point circuits to be created using the SONET/SDH overhead bytes. Two circuits are provisioned using the F1 byte in the Section/Regenerator Section overhead, each providing a 64 kbps data channel. The mechanical interface for these channels is via two RJ-11 connectors located on the faceplate of the AIC-I card. The remaining two circuits are provisioned over the D4-D12 bytes in the Line/Multiplex Section overhead, providing 576 kbps data channels. The mechanical interface to these channels is via two RJ-45 connectors located on the faceplate of the AIC-I card. The AIC-I orderwire feature enables the craft technicians to communicate between network elements via bandwidth dedicated on the SONET/SDH overhead bytes. The voice channels use the E1 and E2 bytes of the SONET section overhead (SOH) / SDH regenerator section overhead (RSOH) and SONET line overhead (LOH) / SDH multiplex section overhead, respectively. The AIC-I card accepts the input from a standard telephone (two- or four-wire) or technician telephone test set and encodes the voice channel using A-Law or Mu-Law pulse code modulation (PCM). Each AIC-I card can be provisioned with a four-digit station number for selective card-to-card connection calling. A built-in call buzzer and LED are provided to alert the craft technician to an incoming call.