May 25, 1995
Purpose of This Document
All available lines in the campus telephone system will be allocated by the
first quarter of 1996, possibly as soon as January. There are numerous options
for satisfying the requests for additional lines. Each option has its own
benefits and liabilities, but the common characteristic of each alternative is
that it costs over a quarter of a million dollars. The staff of Communications
Services desires consultation with members of the campus community before
selecting an option for future telephone service. This document lists the
viable options and a tentative schedule for implementation. Recommendations are
listed at the end of the document.
In August of 1985 UCSB acquired a new telephone system called a GTD4600.
This system replaced a telephone service called Centrex, which was
leased from GTE, the local regulated telephone company. The GTD4600 is located
in the Public Safety building, and provides telephone service to every campus
department and several off-campus locations.
The economic life of the GTD4600 has varied over time. At the time the new
telephone system was installed, its amortization period was set to 10 years
(until August, 1995). In 1987, UCSB and four other UC campuses refinanced their
telephone systems using Certificates of Participation (COPs) to reduce interest
rates. The terms of the COPs were that we could pay off the outstanding balance
any time between September 1, 1997 and September 1, 2000. When the COPs were
issued, UCSB staff extended the end of the amortization of the system to
September, 1997. To achieve recharge rate reduction requirements of 8% in the
fiscal year 91/92 budget, the end of the amortization period was extended to
September, 2000. Finally, a new long distance contract with MCI in fiscal year
94/95 provided expense reductions which reduced the end of the amortization
period to July 1, 1997.
Due to growth resulting from new technologies such as facsimile and high
speed modems, and also from new construction on campus, all available lines on
the campus telephone system will be in use by the first quarter of 1996,
possibly as early as January. There are numerous options for satisfying the
requests for additional lines. Each option has its own benefits and
liabilities, but the common characteristic of each alternative is that it costs
over a quarter of a million dollars, and many of them cost significantly more.
The options can be organized into four broad categories:
- Augment and continue to use the existing telephone system.
- Acquire (purchase or lease) a new telephone system.
- Lease telephone service from an off-campus vendor, using a system installed
on the campus.
- Lease telephone service from an off-campus vendor, using a system installed
at an off-campus location.
Subsequent sections provide a tentative schedule for system replacement, a
summary of the assumptions associated with the current situation, a listing of
the options predicated upon these assumptions and a narrative describing in
detail the benefits and liabilities of each option. The costs of each option
are still being developed.
Tentative system replacement schedule (subject to change)
The option selected for future telephone service at UCSB will have an impact
on nearly every faculty member, staff member, and, possibly, resident of UCSB
housing. The staff of Communications Services is not assuming which option will
be selected. Nor is staff assuming that the selected option will require
installation of a switch on-campus or off-campus. Consultation with the members
of the campus community and committees on the preferred option is crucial and
should commence as soon as possible.
While an option has not been assumed, a tentative schedule for the selection
and implementation of an option has been developed as a guideline. The amount
of time allocated to tasks is based on the experience of staff at UCSB and other
UC campuses who have previously selected and implemented telephone systems.
This tentative schedule may need to be modified to insure adequate consultation
and review of needs and options. However, since we expect that requests for new
telephone lines will continue while a decision is being made, and we project
that all lines in the current system will be in use around January, 1996, this
schedule does include two dates (September 1, 1995 and December 1, 1995) by
which decisions must be made or future requests cannot be satisfied.
July 1, 1995: Complete an initial campus customer needs assessment using
interviews of faculty and staff. Comments, concerns, suggestions and questions
from divisions, departments, research units and individuals are submitted to a
study group or committee which will coordinate the selection of the future
September 1, 1995: Latest date on which an expansion of the GTD4600 can
be ordered or a Centrex contract can be signed to meet requests for new
telephone lines to be active in January, 1996 (options 1, 2, 6 or 7below).
October 1, 1995: Campus committees and individuals evaluate and reach
consensus on the needs to be satisfied by the replacement system using the
interview results, review of directions taken by other universities and,
possibly, the results of consultant studies.
November 1, 1995: Presentations to campus committees by vendors of
replacement systems and services are completed. These presentations are
designed to provide information to committees and individuals and answer their
questions about potential replacement systems.
December 1, 1995: Latest date on which GTE business lines can be ordered
to meet requests for new telephone lines to be active in January, 1996 (options
3, 4 or 5 below).
December 1, 1995: A Request For Proposal (RFP) is released to vendors.
Development of the RFP would have begun in July and would be updated and
reviewed by committee members after completion of the vendor presentations.
January 5, 1996: The vendor pre-bid conference is held at UCSB.
March 1, 1996: Vendor responses to the RFP are due.
May 1, 1996: The successful vendor is selected by a campus study group or
committee after consultation with the campus community.
July 1, 1996: Purchasing completes contract negotiations with the successful
vendor and a contract is signed. Implementation begins.
November 26, 1996: The tentative date for beneficial occupancy of a new
campus switch building, if needed. If the replacement system will be located on
campus, equipment delivery could begin.
July 1, 1997: System construction, testing and database loading is complete.
The system is placed into production service.
- GTEL, our telephone switch maintenance vendor, will have serious
difficulties providing support for the GTD4600 after the annual maintenance
contract expires on October 31, 1997. Spare parts for the switch are no longer
manufactured, so only previously used equipment is available for repairs. The
number of technicians and engineers qualified to maintain the switch is
decreasing quickly due to retirements and transfers to other jobs. While GTEL
is bound by contract to maintain the switch until September, 2000, their ability
to provide quality service is already deteriorating and within two more years we
might experience total failures of the switch for extended periods while
qualified people and parts are located from around the country.
- Requests for additional telephone lines will continue at an average annual
rate of 5%.
- The current hardware configuration of the GTD4600 can support 4,856
telephone lines. 4,769 lines are now being used. At current growth rates, if
no action is taken we will run out of lines in approximately January of 1996.
- The earliest date that the debt on the telephone switch could be fully paid
(without penalties) is July 1, 1997. The latest date that the debt must be paid
is September 1, 2000.
- If a new telephone system is to be installed on campus (whether UCSB or
vendor owned) it would not be available for use until July, 1997 because a new
switch room to house the system could not be constructed until late November,
- If it is necessary to replace the GTD4600 prior to January 1, 1997, the
only viable option is to lease service from GTE (because of California Public
Utilities Commission regulations governing the telephone industry in
- After the deregulation of the telephone industry on January 1, 1997, any
telephone service provider will be able to provide service to UCSB.
Summary of the Options for Future Telephone Service
In all of the following options, the phrase "replace the system"
means install a new campus-owned system, lease service from a vendor using a
system installed on-campus, or lease service from a vendor using a system
- Expand the GTD4600 to meet requests for new lines until the end of the
original Certificates of Participation repayment date of September 1, 2000 (the
need is projected to be at 6,345 lines by that date) and then replace the
- Acquire additional equipment to expand the GTD4600 to meet the requests for
new lines until July, 1997 (the current end of amortization) and then replace
the system (details).
- Move some telephone equipment (e.g., modems and emergency telephones) off
of the GTD4600 onto GTE business lines in an effort to extend the useful life of
the current configuration until July, 1996 and then replace the system in July,
1997. Under this option, requests for new telephone lines between July,
1996 and July, 1997 could not be satisfied (details).
- Convert an unused portion of the 893 prefix to Centrex, provide a hybrid
service to meet the requests for line growth until July, 1997 and then replace
the system (details).
- A combination of options 3 and 4 above (details).
- Move some telephone equipment (e.g., modems) off of the GTD4600 onto a new
stand-alone telephone system, use the stand-alone system to support emergency
telephones, the modem pool, and campus line growth until July, 1997 and then
replace the system (details).
- Replace the GTD4600 with leased service from GTE's Central Office in
Ellwood, no later than the first quarter of 1996 (details).
Detailed Descriptions of the Options
- A description of the options for future telephone service should be made
available to the entire campus community via printed copy and/or by placing it
on a computer "gopher" server and World Wide Web server.
- A committee or study group, with representation from the entire campus
community, should be formed to analyze survey data, develop consensus on the
needs of the customers, review the directions other universities have taken,
develop a Request For Proposal, review the responses to the RFP and reach a
consensus on a recommended direction for UCSB. The group should be formed as
soon as possible.
- Divisions, departments, research units and individuals should be urged to
submit their comments, concerns, suggestions and questions about the options for
future telephone service to a study group or committee which will coordinate the
selection of the future system.
- Requests for new telephone lines continue to arrive and we project that all
available lines will be in use by January, 1996. A decision on whether or not
to provide additional telephone lines after January, augment the existing
telephone system, or begin obtaining temporary telephone service from GTE should
be made with ample time for implementation. If the GTD4600 switch is to
augmented, the decision to do so must be made by September 1. If we should
begin obtaining service from GTE (CentraNet), the decision to do so must be made
by December 1. If neither option is selected, requests for new telephone
service arriving in January, 1996 can not be satisfied.