Friday, April 20, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 137


 
 









 

UH ends free dial-up service

AccessUH will 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 locations.

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 yet.

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 departments.
 

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