There will be a brief interruption of telephone service just before midnight on Friday, July 25 when the Institute upgrades its 5ESS system software.
Improvements to the telephone system that will result from the upgrade include enhanced billing, with additional fields for fraud collection information; national number portability; increased national ISDN capabilities (call screening and improved call management capabilities); enhanced network reliability; routing enhancements to increase efficiency in accessing third-party long-distance carriers; enhancements to the automated call distribution software used by the Help Desk; increase in call processing speed, and faster recovery from power outages.
Starting at 11:59pm on July 25, the dial tone and new incoming calls will be interrupted for three to five minutes while the new software is being loaded. Data transmission calls in progress will be dumped or terminated. Conference calls involving more than two persons will be terminated, though ordinary two-person calls will not be affected.
A rapid repeating dial tone, indicating no call can be made, will be heard by anyone who picks up a receiver while the new software is being loaded. Programmable features such as call forwarding will be unavailable until after the software installation is complete.
Anyone with questions or concerns may call x3-HELP (x3-4357) or send e-mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on July 16, 1997.