Campus upgrading to new VoIP phone system

Author: Carol C. Bradley


When discussing the rollout of the new campus telephone system, the question people ask most often is ‘”Why?” says Steve Ellis, director of network design, integrated communication services.

The answer is that the current phone system is more than 20 years old, and it’s no longer being manufactured by the vendor that built it, says Ellis. “We have no choice but to upgrade.”

And the only way to go is VoIP technology (Voice over Internet Protocol) for phone systems the size of Notre Dame’s. “It’s the way of office and enterprise [large-scale phone systems] today,” he says. VoIP communication services are transported over the Internet rather than the public switched telephone network.

Some things won’t change: You’ll keep the same phone number, and dialing remains the same with five-digit dialing on campus and 8+ the phone number for off-campus numbers.

While change can be stressful, the new system, which will be installed across campus in stages through June, offers many exciting new features, says Chuck Konopinski, OIT voice services manager.

You’ll be able to put someone on hold to take another call, for example, or let the second call go to voicemail. The phones, which have color displays you can modify with a personal image, have access to an online campus telephone directory.

The date and time will set automatically. You’ll be able to see placed, received or missed calls, and the system also has visual voicemail, allowing you to see and open phone messages from an onscreen menu. An app will allow you to have your campus 631 number ring through to your iPhone.

Information about the new system, including quick reference guides, tutorials, manuals, features and rollout dates is available at All questions about VoIP go to the OIT Help Desk, 631-8111 or

New phones will arrive on your desk about two weeks before AT&T is ready to upgrade—so you’ll have two phones on your desk for a brief time. Before the upgrade, you’ll be able to make outgoing test calls and set up your voicemail.

Demonstrations of the phone system are ongoing. Check for dates, times and locations.