Telecom Improvement Project Services Archives

In June 2024, the University of Arizona will decommission it’s #5ESS telephone switching system. What was hailed as one of the first installations of the massive carrier-rated system that could serve up to 500,000 individual telephone lines, has gained the distinction of lasting for over 34 years in the basement of the Computer Center. In prime condition still today, the introduction of VoIP technology and now the Zoom Phone cloud platform has prompted the end of an era. Read more about the University’s telecom journey and view photos.

Telecommunications Improvement Project Services Brochure

Learn about TIPS and take a photo journey of the TIPS implementation with details of the preparations, construction, deployment and support process that were put in place during 1989-1990.

Telecom News Newsletter - April 1989

Read about the TIPS construction across the University's campus, including street closures, trenches for cables, and details about the new telephone system.. 

Telecom News Newsletter - May 1989

Read about the progress of the construction and the building by building engineering walk through that included University telecom staff, Risk Management and Physical Resources departments.  Read about the history of the convergence of institutions on the future of national research networks. and notes from the National Net 89 Conference.


Telecom News Newsletter - June 1989

Read about the purchase of a site license for multinet software that allowed the campus VAX/VMS computers to use the TCP/IP protocol. Included is information on the progress of network technologies and innovative changes to the telecommunications at the University such as fiber optics.


Telecom News Newsletter - July 1989

Read about modem standardization and recommendation for 9600 Bps and the discussion around maintenance contracts for technology at the University. Also read about the new arrival of the AT&T #5ESS switch and switch room preparations for delivery. 


Telecom News Newsletter - August 1989

Read about how UA piloted evolving ISDN technology. Included are support recommendations for how to turn off call waiting when using a modem with a telephone that has call waiting. Optical Sciences joins the University Network.


Telecom News Newsletter - September 1989

Read more about the new #5ESS switch and some of its features. Also read about the University’s new high-speed dialup access and how University telecom services matches communications links with the end-user needs. See some examples of what the new network can do for you.

Telecom News Newsletter - October 1989

TIPS enters its final stages and a telephone service order freeze is put in place. Part II of what the University’s network can do for you. Read an introduction to the internet and a little about ARPAnet NSFNET, WESTNET and BITNET.


Telecom News Newsletter - November 1989

Read about preparations for transferring to the new University phone system. Additionally, a discussion about response time and pagers being a bargain for time and efficiency.


Telecom News Newsletter - December 1989

Read about telephone training offered for the new telephone system. Installation of ECTS Replacement Telephone sets is discussed and there is a new mail gateway for campus DECNet and Internet users:


5Ess 2001 Story Teaser

Backbone, heart and brains: the anatomy of the CCIT switch room - February 2001

UA telecommunications take place in one computer and wire-filled room
By Ayse Guner
Arizona Daily Wildcat

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