This paper discusses the impact of next generation access systems on the planning and operations support activities of telephone companies. The driving forces behind next generation access systems are the potential savings in capital costs due to integration and in operations costs, the capability of faster introduction of new services and reduced lead time in providing services. In addition to supporting existing services (switched, non-locally switched, and non-switched), the next generation access system will also serve as a platform to support new services and architectures, such as ISDN, Fiber In The Loop (FITL), higher speed digital extensions, self-healing rings, etc. Economic considerations dictate that access systems be integrated with the local digital switch. Hence, the access systems are expected to use the generic TR-303 interface that is being implemented by the leading switch vendors in their local digital switches. Key features of these systems include full access time-slot interchangers, remotely provisionable channel units, remote test access points, ability to collect and report performance monitoring data, and bandwidth management capabilities. These features will enable telephone companies to perform remote provisioning, remote testing, remote inventory and achieve higher utilization of equipment and facilities. Lower operating costs can be achieved, in initial deployment, with a combination of existing centralized Operations Systems and (access system) vendor provided Supervisory Systems. Full scale flow-through operations support must be available to coincide with mass deployment.