UH ends free dial-up service
be completely retired by early July, officials say
By Mauryzia Wong
Daily Cougar Staff
AccessUH users will need to find a new
Internet service provider starting next month.
The University's Information Technology
Department has announced it will begin retiring the free service's modems
May 11. The service, which is provided to students and employees, allows
dial-up access to Internet resources and e-mail accounts from off-campus
According to Ray Fernandez, strategic communicator
for Information Technology, the service is being retired because of low
usage and a lack of funding for much-needed upgrades.
Fernandez said only seven percent of students,
faculty and staff use AccessUH.
The University began providing the service
to members of the campus community in the summer of 1995, before ISPs became
widely available in the Houston area.
According to Steve Arnold, an IT user services
specialist and member of the AccessUH retirement project team, the service
came about because the University saw a need for online access and few
options were available at the time.
Arnold said that because more people now
have easier access to ISPs, usage has dropped steadily since 1998, and
all the registered users don't even rely on AccessUH as their primary ISP.
"Part of (AccessUH users) are folks like
myself who work for Information Technology -- we're using it for testing
and other purposes," he said.
Fernandez said the decision to retire AccessUH
was made after the Information Technology and Computing Committee visited
other universities to learn more about how they handled Internet service.
The committee learned that some schools
were retiring their services, while others were charging as much as $20
per month for the service.
IT will begin turning off 25 percent of
the service's modems on May 11, and continue turning them off until the
service is completely retired on July 6.
Arnold said current users would be notified
via e-mail about what is being done. No one will be locked out of the service
He said faculty and staff members who need
to work from home via the Internet, may take advantage of an agreement
the University has with Prodigy in which Internet bills are sent to individual