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Technology Upgrades Across the Institute

Despite an early failure in MIT’s e-mail system in March, this year was a smooth year for Information Services and Technology. A few technology changes visibly impacted the student body, such as a change in phone and Internet service billing.

As of July, MIT removed the monthly charges for phone and Internet services, replacing the billing with a one-time charge. Though this change didn’t have much of an impact on departments who now pay up front — rather than monthly — for services, student groups saw a huge change.

Since student group accounts are a part of the Division of Student Life, groups no longer directly pay for Internet or phone service. Though DSL may choose to pass the cost on to student groups, they have not done so yet. According to statistics available from the MIT Data Warehouse, student groups may pay a total of $15,000 toward Internet and phone service.

Behind the scenes, the Institute saw many large upgrades. The MIT Regional Optical Network went online, which consists of over 1,500 miles of fiber optics and 72 channels capable of 10 Gigabit per second speeds, according to IS&T Network Manager Jeffrey I. Schiller ’79. The network links MIT to New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

In the coming years, MIT hopes to expand the network to include international research organizations, increasing the ease of collaboration. IS&T also upgraded infrastructure behind the MIT Student Information System, which is behind student records, class scheduling, and other services.