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Posted at 8:17 AM ET, 08/10/2010

UVa. dumps dorm land-line phones

By Washington Post editors

The University of Virginia has removed about 3,850 land-line telephones from residence halls in a move that will save $500,000 annually.

The removal of the telephones marks the fact that today's students overwhelmingly rely on mobile phones. U.Va. also is upgrading the systems that deliver cellular-phone signals.

The university's chief housing officer, Mark Doherty, says students may request a land-line phone but he doesn't think many will.

Emergency phones in dormitory hallways and residential staff areas still will be available.

--Associated Press

By Washington Post editors  | August 10, 2010; 8:17 AM ET
Categories:  Virginia  
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Let me get this straight?

The new UVA "Grand Dame" has decreed that all students shall disclose arrests and convictions, but they are pulling land-lines out of dorm rooms? What is this, prison?

Granted it seems like a cost savings, but at what price? If the UVA wants to make the system work, in a cost-effective manner, install VOIP telecommunications and fiber, in the dorms.

It is called a built-in redundancy of a security system.

Labor costs? Doesn't UVA have a Computer Science Program? There is something called "work-study" and internships, with a stipend?

Use it and give these students the experience that they'd find in the "real world."

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | August 10, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

By "emergency phones," do they mean the white courtesy phones that go straight to campus police? Important, but not enough.

Now all students must have cell phones. We think they're everywhere, but ask the student who has to choose between a cell phone and, say, a computer or car.

Libraries and computer labs close, buses don't run all night, but phones work all hours.

Posted by: cfow1 | August 10, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

It appears that neither of the two comments above come from anyone with real world experience designing PBX systems, much less the nuances of campus telecom.

Replace the existing infrastructure with VOIP? Yeah, that's hot, but the cost would greatly exceed that of maintaining the existing system. Then consider the hardware requirements; native IP phones are rarely seen outside of the business environment, so what's a student supposed to do, drop an additional $300 for a handset? Voicemail now becomes a managed service (no more placing answering machine next to the phone) which means and additional outlay of cash. The network now becomes falls into the bucket of "critical services"; it's more than not being able to update your Facebook page, a network outage means no 911 calls.

Ultimately, it's a cost-cutting measure, but I'm quite sure it's not a decision that was made lightly. If you're really that concerned, I'm sure a summary of usage statistics for the dorms (a primary piece of evidence that will, no doubt show a drastic decline in usage) is available on one of the Internets. Or just read the full press release from the University instead of the AP news clip.

Posted by: LastCommaFirst | August 10, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

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