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December 7, 2001

Coming Soon to a Phone Near You

Starting December 27, campus extensions will expand from a four-digit length to a five-digit length, but this change will only affect internal dialing. It incorporates the last digit of the 455 (faculty and staff) or 612 (resident students) exchanges as the first digit of the extension. Once the change is in effect, your extension will be dialed at 5xxxx or 2xxxx. This change does not affect incoming calls from off-campus; your number will remain (410) 455-xxxx or (443) 612-xxxx.As the campus has continued to add new facilities and programs, the available reserve of numbers in the (410) 455 and (443) 612 exchanges are being depleted.The campus currently has access to 8,799 DID (externally accessible) and Phantom (internal use only) numbers in the two noted exchanges, with over 80% in current use and significant blocks reserved for projects underway. Careful planning now can prevent critical shortages and awkward assignment patterns for the future.Every effort will be made to preserve the (410) 455 number base for the core UMBC functions. Other exchange numbers (443) 612 and a new (443) 543 will be used for residents, technology partners and auxiliary applications.George Vitak, director of Telecommunications, says, “The goal of this project from inception has been to minimize the impact of this necessary change on the campus community. This is a fairly complex undertaking on the technical side and has been in planning for the past six months. Careful coordination is required among the Communications Services staff, our telephone switch manufacturer and Verizon Telephone. Much of the activity is actually being handled in-house due to the complex nature of our systems and our desire to ‘custom fit' the events into our particular environment. In this manner we hope to expose the UMBC community to no more inconvenience than having to remember a new digit when dialing internally.”The actual change in the system will take place over Winter Break, on December 26 and 27. PhoneMail will be deactivated at approximately 8 p.m. on December 26. The telephone system will be transitioned around midnight. Verizon will begin its changes at about the same time. Internal dialing and out-calling are anticipated to be available with little or no interruption.In-bound calls are expected to become available within an hour or so after the conversion. Critical PhoneMail applications should be online within two hours of the transition. Full PhoneMail conversion will extend well into December 27, with increasing availability of the regular mailboxes realized during each successive hour.Most activities dealing with the transition should be transparent to the community. If you have any internal campus telephone numbers programmed under station speed on your phone or any personal distribution lists set up in your PhoneMail box, you must reprogram in the correct extensions.Details will continue to be supplied to each department as the transition period approaches. Specific concerns or questions may be directed to Communications Services at x2100 now and x52100 after December 27.

Posted by dwinds1 at December 7, 2001 12:00 AM