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University of Guelph pulls plug on traditional phone system

The University of Guelph has shut down the large Private Branch Exchange (PBX) that has managed the majority of its...


November 2, 2004  


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The University of Guelph has shut down the large Private Branch Exchange (PBX) that has managed the majority of its telephone service since the 1980s, completing a three-year project that resulted in the conversion of all campus communications onto a Cisco Internet Protocol (IP) Communications system.

According to Kent Percival, manager of IT Development, Computing and Communications Services at Guelph, pulling the plug on the old PBX was an important step in the realization of a long term vision the university laid out in 2001.

“Three years ago we recognized the information technology industry was on the cusp of a fundamental change — away from legacy, circuit-based telephony towards an integrated, IP-based environment,” he said.

With more than 7,000 IP phones and 12,000 data ports, the integrated voice, video and data network is one of the largest IP telephony networks in Canada.

“Today, we’re celebrating the completion of the first phase of our implementation plan: the integration of voice, video and data onto a single network,” said Ron Elmslie, the university’s director of Computing and Communications Services.

“Over the next few years we’ll shift our focus from infrastructure to applications. In other words, now we get the opportunity to leverage our network foundation in ways that will benefit our entire community — from students, to researchers, to educators and administrators.”