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Grad Students Now Pay $17 For Off-Campus Phone Service

By John A. Hawkinson

Information Systems & Technology has moved graduate student dormitory phones to a new service model, which requires a $17 per month fee for students to receive calls from outside campus and place calls to off-campus numbers.

The change was made Monday, Aug. 22. Undergraduate dormitory residents will switch service models on Sept. 12.

Allison F. Dolan, director of Telephony for IS&T, said that 300 graduate students have signed up for the full service phones, with more than two-thirds signing up only a couple of days before the switch.

Only 17 undergraduates have signed up so far, she said. All students must sign up before Sept. 12 or pay a $25 activation fee.

IS&T placed stickers and flyers on phones to notify students of the service change.

The decision to charge students for outgoing calls was made by Housing and IS&T. IS&T raised the rates for analog phones across campus by $3 to $20 per phone per month, and Housing decided it could not afford the full rate, particularly in light of a projected $2.2 million increase in utility costs this fiscal year.

Despite the different prices IS&T charges for on-campus and off-campus phone service, IS&T will still need to maintain most of the same resources to support on-campus calls as it would for off-campus calls, including the cost of wiring, the physical phones themselves, maintenance, and the ports on MIT’s phone switch. In other words, IS&T recoups a lower percentage of costs for on-campus-only service versus off-campus.