Brand New Dial-up Facility — Wanna Give It a Try?

by Joe Lee
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We have been providing in-house dial-up facility for members of the University for several years. Though we always employ the most advanced technologies at the time of installation, as time goes by, the advancement of new telecommunication technologies is so rapid that it becomes impractical to keep on upgrading our existing modem pools to catch up with the contemporary standards. This results in a degradation of performance. On the other hand, the emphasis on using IT for teaching has stimulated a large crowd of users who need fast Internet access frequently and the demand for dial-up facility to support Web-based instructions keeps increasing. As such, there is an urgent need to replace our present dial-up equipment. However, sooner or later we will encounter another cycle of obsolescence. Therefore, the only way out is outsourcing.

Outsourcing has distinct advantages over in-house development. These include greater flexibility in expanding or downsizing the modem pools, saving maintenance cost of equipment, avoiding technological obsolescence, reducing support effort, economy of scale, and more. Recently, the University has awarded the dial-up facility contract to the Cable & Wireless Hong Kong Telecom (CWHKT) after painstaking testing and evaluation of its Virtual Private Dial-up Service (VPDS). The dial-up facility thus provided is through the ATM technology, making the addition of ports and bandwidth flexible and inexpensive.

Among the new dial-up facility that constitutes over 800 dial-up lines, 100 lines are dedicated for staff, 600 lines are for both staff and students, and over 100 lines have 30 minutes connection limit during peak hours. These modems are provided through a dedicated Cisco Remote Access Server of carrier grade, supporting most popular standard protocols such as V.34, V.90 and K56Flex. They also support a variety of modems. A detailed list of supported modems can be found under the CSC Web page. On the CityU Intranet home page, simply click “Admin./Support Centres” followed by “Computing Services Centre”. On the CSC home page, click “Services”. Thereafter choose “CityLink Plus – remote access facility” followed by “For All Staff”. On the right panel, click the link “List of Modems supported”. Alternatively, you may access the URL directly at http://www.cityu.edu.hk/csc/dialup/usrguide/modem.htm.

As the whole dial-up facility has been reorganised, all previous dial-up phone numbers become obsolete. The new phone numbers for corresponding modem pools are depicted on page 26 under “Key Services and Information”.

You may need to reconfigure your PC to cope with these new phone numbers. If your modem cannot connect properly to the modem pools, check the above-mentioned modem list to find out whether your modem is supported. If not, you may need to replace your modem or upgrade the modem software in order to get full advantage of these high-speed modem pools. For enquiries, simply e-mail to cc@plink.cityu.edu.hk, call our Help Desk on ext. 7658 or come in person to the CityLink Plus Help Desk situated in Room Orion of the CSC Student Terminal Area.