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ILGs May Get Institute Phone Lines

By Kathy Sun
Staff Reporter

MIT Telecommunications Systems is considering expanding the Institute's digital telephone system to include all independent living groups. The cost of each telephone hook-up will range between $500 and $700, to be paid by each living group desiring the service, according to Telecommunications Systems Manager Peter J. Delaney.

Placing the entire MIT community on the digital telephone system, called the 5th-Generation Electronic Switching System, would make tracking and solving problems easier, centralize all telephone calls to one switchboard, and increase the speed of call forwarding within a living group, Delaney said.

The expansion is being considered so "all students can have the same access to the same services," Delaney said.

Features of complete hook-up to 5ESS include telephones in each room, easy access to Athena, call waiting, the ability to receive, forward, and transfer calls within MIT, a different ring for calls within and outside of MIT, and direct dial lines to affiliated institutions such as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Wellesley College, Delaney said.

Alpha Phi is currently the only living group completely connected to 5ESS.

Some ILGs, including the Women's Independent Living Group, pika, and Fenway House, have a main line that is connected to the 5ESS system, through which calls are transferred to other telephones in the house.

News of the possible expansion generated a mixed response among members of various living groups.

Peter K. Verprauskus '94 of Alpha Tau Omega said, "It sounds great. I don't like our phone system. We have three main lines and it becomes pretty hectic at times." Heidi W. Shih '95 of pika said that telephones in her living group "were not really a problem as it is."

Edward Hwang '95, a resident of Nu Delta, said, "In a fraternity, there really isn't a need for personal phones. Our system works pretty well as is."

5ESS was installed in November 1988. The 5ESS system is a fully digital switch operation with private branch exchange applications. It is supplied with MIT's own personal switch and is a non-profit system, Delaney said.