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Exchange change means telephone transition

By Mandy Cook

Memorial University of Newfoundland’s St. John’s campus is getting a new telephone exchange number.

The new exchange, 864, will become effective Aug. 9, 2010, and the old exchange, 737, will be phased out starting in early 2011.

The change is required to accommodate ongoing requests for new telephone numbers. Because the current 737 exchange is not exclusive to Memorial, there are not enough telephone numbers available within the exchange to allow Computing and Communications to assign further phone numbers to new staff, groups, services and other university units.

As a result, a university-wide consultation was conducted in the fall of 2009 to obtain feedback from users about the various options available. The conclusion of these consultations was that most users would prefer acquiring a new telephone exchange. This would allow Memorial to maintain the use of a single exchange where users may continue to use four-digit dialling internally.

“The 737 numbers will work for a minimum of six months to allow for the phasing out of any recently printed office stationary and the printing of next year’s telephone book,” said Graham Mowbray, director, Computing and Communications. “Published 737 phone numbers will work for a longer period to accommodate external callers.”

The new 864 exchange has been committed to Memorial and will allow for future growth of the St. John’s campus. It should be noted that the change will only affect the St. John’s campus, excluding the Marine Institute and Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook. It will also not affect the Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy, as well as the Faculty of Medicine as they operate under the 777 exchange within Eastern Health.

The changeover will take place over a six month period to minimize disruption to users. During that period, individual telephone numbers will switch from 737-abcd to 864-abcd.

Starting Aug. 9, 2010, the new exchange 864 will be officially introduced. No matter which exchange users choose to dial however, there will be no change in service except for Caller ID displays and telephone directories.

Both the 737 and 864 exchanges can be used interchangeably until Feb. 1, 2011, without any disruption to users. After Feb. 1, 2011, anyone dialling 737 will receive a message notifying them of the change and will then be forwarded to their desired recipient.

The date that callers hear “This line is out of service” after dialling 737-abcd will be determined by the project authority and steering committee based on the current usage of the exchange at that time.

Feedback on the changeover implementation is welcome. Please contact 864feedback@mun.ca.

You can also visit C&C’s website at www.mun.ca/cc/projectANGELA/ to learn more.
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