Tag Archives: Telephone Services

VoIP comes to the Snow Bowl

Telephone Services recently installed a new voice over IP telephone system at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl.  It is an Aastra MX-One Lite telephony server which integrates fully to the main campus Aastra (Ericsson) phone system.  Next time you need to call the Bowl just dial SNOW (7669).

Our local contractor, Business Telephone Systems, working with our telephone system vendor, Black Box Network Services, installed the new server and phones in late September.  We are using the existing campus fiber network that was connected to the Bowl in the spring of 2009.  Howie McCausland and I tested the voice quality over the fiber with the vendor this past August.  Our network passed the test with flying colors.

The Snow Bowl now has a combination of IP phones in the offices and analog lines elsewhere.   The two major requirements for the new system were that it had enough analog trunk lines to accommodate the telephones at the lift load and unload stations and that the system not need dedicated bandwidth on the fiber.  A POE switch was installed to keep the IP phones going during a power outage, and in the event of a network outage the phones will failover to one of the four telephone company analog trunks remaining.

Student room telephone service to be removed January 1, 2010

LIS announced to students earlier this week that telephone services will be removing dial tone and telephone equipment from residential hall rooms unless a student requests that we keep their service in place.  The deadline for those requests is Sunday, November 15.  From then through December we’ll be working to re-route remaining dorm telephone lines and remove port cards with a goal of reducing our active landlines by 2000.   Ginnie Bukowski is shepherding this part of the project working with our contractor and facilities services.  During the week of December 7, recycling services will place bins in dormitories where students can deposit their telephones.  The phones will be moved to the Recycling Center where the equipment will be processed for either re-sale or recycling of parts. 

The consequence of reducing our maintenance costs is that we no longer have full-time telecommunications maintenance services. Thus, there may be a delay for individual telephone and network repairs and installations as of January 1, though major repairs will continue to be a high priority.

Update from Telephone Services

Submitted by Peggy Fischel

Ginnie Bukowski attended AMCOM’s Connect ’08 Conference in Minneapolis, October 12-15.  She learned about the stability of Telident’s future, our 911 system, which had been acquired by AMCOM earlier in the year, and their suite of other products – most recently CommTech Wireless purchased less than two weeks before.  VoIP, voice recognition, and 911 products were the focus of the sessions she attended.  The most significant moments during these days were the frequent opportunities to talk with Telident’s product manager and application engineer.  Suggestions that will improve the software were discussed.  She was told some of her and others’ ideas may make it into the 9.0 version, which is anticipated early next year.

Telephone Services Updates: Washouts, Enhanced 911, and AlertFind

Submitted by Peggy Fischel

The heavy rain in early August washed out the road to Burdick House at the Bread Loaf campus in Ripton. Burdick was home to some BL School of English summer faculty. Our telephone system contractor, Jim Fitzgerald, was called out to repair the telephone line in the house, but as the attached photos indicate, the road was not drivable. Intrepid Jim walked the 1/2 mile in to repair the phone connection.

In late July we installed an upgrade to our enhanced 911 notification system. Thanks to Rick James for his assistance in setting up the new server and applications. With this new equipment, we are using four dedicated circuits from existing PRI lines to send calls. This allows us to remove the FairPoint special service trunks and PS/ALI service at a savings of $7700 per year which will pay for the new system in less than two years.

In August several AlertFind administrators from the President’s staff were given a tutorial on the recently upgraded message composition features. Documentation was re-written in the form of a quick reference guide to aid administrators if/when they need to send an emergency campus notification.