Watch out 573, here comes 417. Yes, by the time students return to campus this fall, phone numbers for on-campus residences will begin with the number seven instead of the now familiar three. Why the change? With the introduction of ResNet in many dorms in the fall of 1992, many students began obtaining their own, private telephone lines, instead of sharing one with three or four other roommates, Department of Telecommunications Manager Laurie Cousart said this week. The Telecommunications Department controls all administration phone lines, including those used for modems and faxes. In addition to allocating 573 numbers to students and administrators, Telecommunications also assigns the 898 prefix. Before ResNet was introduced, only phone numbers between 573-4000 and 573-9000 were allocated for on-campus residences, Penntrex Manager Darren Yamin said this week. Then, last year, phone numbers in the 573-1000s and 9000s were also allocated by Telecommunications for Penntrex. Despite this, both groups realized that they would soon run out of phone lines for residential and administrative use, Cousart said. "We realized that there wouldn't be enough phone lines in the future," Cousart said. "Before [the 573 prefix ran out of available lines], we wanted to take the necessary steps so that changing the prefix wouldn't inconvenience more people later." Yamin said the 898 prefix only has about 100 numbers left for administrative use, and this has prompted Penntrex to offer the 573 numbers to administration. To be consistent in all on-campus residences, Cousart said the University reserved the 417 prefix from Bell of Pennsylvania last fall. With the 417 prefix, 10,000 lines will be available strictly for residential use, she added. "The move to 417 will allow for enough growth for awhile," Yamin said. Whether the change will be an inconvenience to students who have now become accustomed to 573, many have said the new number will not pose much of a problem. "I don't think it will be a big inconvenience," Engineering senior Christopher Chang said. "It's just going to take a little adjusting." Wharton freshman Gregory Nesmith said he foresees some problems, but added, "It shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience -- we're pretty smart here."Comments powered by Disqus
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