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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Campus begins conversion to VoIP phone system

During the next two to three years, Information Technology Services (ITS) Communication Technologies is replacing the legacy AT&T Centrex phone service with a new Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system from Verizon Business.

Not only will the conversion mean cost savings for the University, the VoIP technology includes the capability to move phones without having to coordinate with an outside vendor.

Some 20,000 campus telephone lines are being changed over to VoIP on a building-by-building basis. Campus units should receive about two months notice before their buildings are scheduled for the transition.

During the conversion process, it’s best to use the full 10-digit phone number when making calls, said Cheri Beasley, customer support manager for ITS Communication Technologies. Five-digit campus numbers (i.e., 2-2211) will not work when calls are made between Centrex and VoIP phones. If a caller tries to make a call from a non-VoIP campus phone to a VoIP campus phone using only five digits, the caller will get a recording that the number has been disconnected.

“Since there’s no way for callers to tell which phone lines have been converted to VoIP and which haven’t, we suggest that people begin using 10-digit dialing to reach all campus numbers,” Beasley said.

Once all the phones in a building have been converted, pressing “7” for an outside line will no longer be necessary, she said, but people still will have to include the area code.

For information about the VoIP conversion, see