Phone service to be disrupted

Students who woke up this morning and found their phone line dead have nothing to fear — the problem should only be temporary.

Information Technology Services is conducting maintenance Thursday morning on student telephones that is scheduled to last three to four hours. During this time some telephone lines in Swing Space, the Divinity School and graduate housing on Prospect Street will experience no dial tones but full service is expected to be restored by 10 a.m., said Bud Danheim, director of telecommunications for ITS.

Two telephone system modules, one in Commons and another in Kline Biology Tower, are used to route incoming and outgoing calls and support all of the student phone lines on campus. Until a few years ago the only module was the one in Commons, but when its capabilities were exceeded ITS added the second one in KBT to accommodate Swing Space residents and students requesting private lines. Last December, Yale administration phone lines were moved from the Commons module to a separate one. As a result, the 11,000 port module in Commons now has only 2,000 ports filled and ITS wants to move the KBT lines back to Commons, Danheim said.

“Although the switch will cause some inconveniences, it is necessary,” Danheim said. “The KBT telephone room is now at capacity and we want to make that floor space available for expanding the data network, so we’re moving all student phone lines down to the module in Commons.”

The switch will begin at 6 a.m. Thursday morning and is expected to be finished by 10 a.m. During that time, the affected phone users — those in Swing Space, 254 to 276 Prospect Street and the Divinity School — will experience trouble receiving calls and getting a dial tone. Danheim said as soon as the job is completed phone service should be restored to all affected lines, though there is a possibility that some lines will still have problems. Any students unable to make or receive calls after 10 a.m. should call telephone repair at 432-9644, Danheim said.

“We don’t foresee many problems with the telephone switch,” Danheim said. “We’ve issued e-mail notifications to the deans of the schools affected so they’re aware, but this is just a maintenance procedure so we can handle any problems that may arise.”

Once the switch is made the KBT telephone module room will have a lot of unused space left over. ITS plans to move data networking equipment into that floor space soon after the job is completed.

Many students living in Swing Space said they trust ITS will be able to conduct the maintenance with few problems, while others seemed less optimistic.

“I sure hope my phone line doesn’t get messed up for too long,” said Frank Chen ’03, a resident of Swing Space. “I have tons of work to do and exams to study for so I’d rather not have the added stress of a non-functioning phone line, especially considering how much I pay in telephone bills every month. Actually, on second thought, maybe I’d get more work done if I couldn’t use my phone.”

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