On Saturday, Oct. 12, the 5ESS telephone switch will be upgraded with new software, resulting in an interruption of telephone service for a few minutes beginning at midnight.
This upgrade is required to comply with the new 15-digit international dialing feature which goes into effect on January 1, 1997. Without this upgrade, all international calls would have to be operator-assisted, which would not only increase the cost but would also lengthen the time required to place a call.
During the service interruption, the dial tone and new incoming calls will be interrupted for approximately three to five minutes while the new software is loaded. Data transmission calls in progress will be dumped or terminated. Calls in progress involving two persons will not be affected, but conference calls involving more than two persons will be terminated.
A rapid repeating dial tone, indicating no call can be made, will be heard by those who pick up their receiver while the new software is being loaded; try your call again a few minutes later. Also, access to programmable features such as call forwarding will be inaccessible until the new software has been installed.
Anyone with questions or concerns may call x3-HELP (x3-4357) or send e-mail to .
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 9, 1996.