South Plains College implemented VoIP last year for all faculty and
staff. We chose to leave the dorm phone on our existing PBX. We do not
provide phones to the students, but we do provide them with dial tone if
they bring their own phone.
We have an emergency phone in the lobby of each dorm. That emergency
phone is connected to our PBX. We are working on migrating those to
analog gateways on our VoIP system. We are discussing the option of
turning off the dorm phones and moving to an opt-in, extra fee, system
for dial tone in the dorm rooms.
Tim Winders | Associate Dean of Information Technology | South Plains
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Randy Spydell [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 2:57 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CIO] 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 first choice.
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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 carrier.
> 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
> in small town, small college partnerships? (I've been unsuccessful
> 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
> 970.943.3123 (office)
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