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12/3/2004
06:31 PM
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The Future Of Talking

Notre Dame says hosted VoIP can handle today's communication needs and whatever comes next

The University of Notre Dame has signed a multimillion-dollar contract for a hosted voice-over-IP system to serve around 16,000 students, faculty, and staff, making it one of the largest hosted VoIP contracts to date, according to industry analysts and SBC Communications, which Notre Dame picked as its service provider.

Notre Dame needed to take into account big changes in the way people communicate. Cell phones with cheap long-distance rates make in-room long-distance service less important, as do E-mail and instant messaging. And a wireless data system already covers the campus. "A wireline-wireless package is a future option," says Dewitt Latimer, the university's chief technology officer. Plus, the growing use of voice-over-IP technology promises more changes school personnel can't yet envision, Latimer adds. The service will be deployed in phases over the next several years, starting with a pilot test for a few hundred users in the first quarter of next year.

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