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Thursday February 15, 2001

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Backbone, heart and brains: the anatomy of the CCIT switch room

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UA telecommunications take place in one computer and wire-filled room

Ring, ring.

Welcome to the switch room - what some call the heart of UA's telecommunications and World Wide Web access, but a room that few people who rely on it are aware of.

This room, which contains $25 million worth of equipment, would stay up and running even if the whole lighting system on the UA campus shuts down because of a natural disaster, said Walt Moody, a staff engineer for CCIT telecommunications.

This is also where the university's voice mail messages are stored, and where the data network comes together.

The room sits in the basement of the Center for Computing and Information Technology building in the northeast part of campus. It contains 17,000 phone lines criss-crossing through shelves and cables, and connecting to the campus buildings, making telecommunications and networking possible.

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