Re: phones in dorms
Notre Dame is wrapping up its first full academic year of "no phones" in the
dorm and improved cell coverage on campus. Our students couldn't be
happier. If you're on the cusp of making a change, I wouldn't even
contemplate voice services in student rooms as a default option. Make it an
opt-in; sign-up when your register for your room and charge (the true) cost+
to provision the service. Nobody will sign up for it and the few that do;
you won't go broke.
Re: VoIP for Campus
Most campus LANs are not ready for VoIP so be prepared to burden the project
with the true costs of bringing your LAN up to spec. Moreover, I would be
leery buying into a specific technology whose entire sector is changing so
rapidly. I personally think a hosted VoIP is a safer play.
Finally, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. What we're
seeing with the students & mobility will be played out with our faculty and
staff over the next couple of years. The challenge with a locally hosted
VoIP platform is integration into a wireless strategy. AT&T and Verizon are
moving to an integrated wireless/wireline strategy. Thy telco's that don't
own a major wireless company are SOL. I think a host VoIP with an integrated
wireless play is far more future-proof than local VoIP itself.
Finally, if we can get the IRS to bring their outdated regs into the 21st
century, then I would expect to see more and more "employees" switch to
using cell phone only as their full-time device.
Just my two cents...most of you know what to do with it by now :-)
Dewitt Latimer, Ph.D.
Deputy CIO and Chief Technology Officer
The University of Notre Dame
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From: Randy Spydell [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 3:57 PM
Subject: VoIP and student phones/dormitories
Like many of you perhaps, we are evaluating the costs, benefits, and
pitfalls of moving away from our traditional telephone switch and
implementing Voice over IP. We have watched the decline in use of residence
hall landlines over the last 5+ years. We discontinued long distance service
several years ago and no longer provide phone sets to students, but maintain
the copper plant and dial tone at the wall. However, like Buffalo reports
<http://spectrum.buffalo.edu/article.php?id=32060> we are seeing many, even
most, of our students using cell phones are their communications device of
So, in our VoIP considerations, we're trying to properly evaluate the place
of our investment in telephony services in support of our resident students.
I'd like to hear from any of you who may have wrestled with some of the
issues we see, and from those of you who have wrestled with issues we
haven't been smart enough to see yet.
Here's what we're considering and the questions I see so far:
VoIP for the campus, with analog aggragators to support necessary older
service points, such as dormitories. Yet, this raises the question, should
we maintain dial tone at the wall at all in residence halls? What are the
benfits and drawbacks of phased deployment vs. complete switchover ASAP?
What are the risk management issues and emergency service issues raised by
discontinuing dial-tone per room? Can blue phones in hallways or adjacent to
exterior entrances suffice? What density of deployment is prudent? If they
(students) don't have sets plugged in the wall, do we need a prudent number
of blue phones anyway?
If we don't provide local dial tone in rooms, should we be looking to invest
in mobile telephony infrastructure with "in-building enhancements" to
support the de facto use of these devices by students? Is there a
wireless/WI-FI/cellular convergence path? We are in a rural area, so
cellular service is spotty and somewhat unreliable, depending on which
street corner you're standing on, how old your phone is, and who is your
Do we do this on our own or do we try to partner with a cellular carrier?
GSM or CDMA? If we should go down the partnership road, who has had success
with which carriers? VerizonWireless, Cingular/ATT, T-Mobile, Sprint/Nextel,
All-Tel. And how do I get these folks interested in small town, small
college partnerships? (I've been unsuccessful with our carriers so far so
PLEASE, advice on this is welcome!)
I'd appreciate thoughts, experiences, suggested roadmaps, and pointers to
useful web sites.
Thanks to all,
D. Randall Spydell
Chief Information Officer and
Director of Computing, Media and Telecommunications
105 Taylor Hall - 600 North Adams St.
Western State College of Colorado
Gunnison, Colorado 81231
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