Imagine a life without ambiguous phone messages taken by a well-intentioned roommate or the confused voices of friends who always mistake one roommate for another.
Since the telecommunications office has planned a major overhaul of Temple’s telecommunication system, this fantasy will soon become reality for students living in residence halls on each Temple campus.
The proposed overhaul, costing 17 million dollars, will change the telephone services received by dormitory residents. The telephone system will be upgraded because the original system, last updated in 1985, has reached its capacity and become outdated.
Under the current system, each dormitory room has one operating phone jack with one phone number. For billing purposes, each roommate has a different authorization code to make outgoing calls on the telephone
The new telephone system will provide each roommate with his or her own phone number, having several advantages over the former system. “Such a system will lead to more privacy for incoming calls,” said Claire McNicholas, Director of
“Having your own phone will allow for a better grade of service,” added McNicholas.
Residents of Temple’s newest dormitory located at 1900 Park Mall already have such a system for their telephone usage.
To power this new telephone system, fiber optic cables will be installed under ground on campus. These clear glass cables replace the former copper cables, which have become too slow and outdated for Temple’s high tech demands. These new cables will facilitate the transport of digital information to computers and phones across campus.
The new fiber optic cable will also facilitate future expansion of Temple’s communication system, including a future more comprehensive video surveillance system, making it easier to install cameras around campus to protect students who may become the victims of crimes.
The cables will be installed inside spare conduits already existing in the dorms on campus. “The whole process will be transparent. Neither the services received by students nor the dorm buildings themselves will be negatively affected,” said McNicholas.
This first phase of the project will be completed by August 2001, in time for the opening of the new residence hall.
The Office of Telecommunications will initiate voicemail services as part of a future phase of the overhaul. Besides the obvious benefits of a decrease in missed phone messages, voicemail service also offers students other bonuses.
“RA’s could use their voicemail services to set up a group list of people living on the floor and can send everyone a group message, making communication easier,” said McNicholas.
The whole project, which will include Ambler and Tyler, should be finished by December 2001.