The University of Texas at Austin

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Project Update

June 6, 2014

The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Deployment Project has been making good progress towards replacing the University’s aging, copper-based telephone system with a newer, more affordable, and easier to maintain VoIP technology. IT Governance requested an aggressive timeline to convert 22,000+ phone lines on campus in two years. To-date over 7,000 phone lines have been converted (or disconnected) with planned completion of the project in June 2015.

Our building-by-building implementation approach is to survey, remediate and deploy. Implementation is occurring in four “Waves.” Wave 1 is complete. Currently, VoIP is being deployed in Wave 2 buildings with completion expected this summer. Simultaneously, the project team is conducting Wave 3 building surveys to plan for necessary remediation and deployment in the fall. More information and the building schedule can be found on the project wiki

The VoIP project team has also been hard at work re-wiring telephone lines approved to remain analog for public safety needs (such as elevator phones) from the old telephone switch and to the new, smaller switch. Coordination with other projects is essential and on-going. For example, construction of the new Engineering and Education Resource Center (EERC) building requires excavating the ground where all the copper cabling currently is buried. Wave 1 deployments were designed to reduce the need to reroute many of the copper lines, resulting in about $1.8 million of cost avoidance.

In addition, the project team is conducting VoIP support training for Technical Support Contacts (TSCs) on campus. So far, six classes have been held and over 60 TSCs trained. Learn more about future training schedules on the project wiki

Such a massive transition could not succeed without many members of the campus community working with us. Although more often than not, things go according to plan, we have experienced some communication miscues and last minute issues such as one-off network cable replacement. We continue to appreciate the patience, support, and cooperation from campus stakeholders and customers. Sincere thanks goes out to our colleagues in Facilities Services, Project Management and Construction Services, and Environmental Health and Safety for helping us with building remediation. And many thanks to John Lovelace, ITS VoIP project leader, for effectively orchestrating this strategic initiative, and resolving the complaints and inevitable issues in a timely basis.

Check the ITS VoIP project page for more information and sign up at UT List for the “voip-project” to receive regular updates.

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