Though I appear to be the only person in the newsroom that knew this service existed, I still think it’s worth a blog post.
Montana State University announced recently that [local calling between the Bozeman campus and the University of Montana is ending](http://calendar.msu.montana.edu/announcements/7086&origin=msutoday), effective today.
In the linked announcement, MSU says that the trunk circuit between the campuses, which allowed seven-digit, local dialing, was a benefit of extra bandwidth left over on the Montana PBS intercampus connection.
However, the PBS connection’s carrier has closed, and today the trunk circuit goes offline. Montana PBS has an alternate connection, but that type of connection isn’t compatible with the phone system.
Calls between the campuses will no longer be free — at least until someone can figure out how to reestablish the connection. For now, though, calls will require a full 10 digits and be billed at the state’s long distance rate of 7.5 cents per minute.
MSU spokesman Tracy Ellig said that since no money was involved in providing the service, no statistics on its use were kept. He did say there is not a “significant” amount of calling traffic between the campuses, and that getting people to remember to use the local calling feature for the, perhaps, one call they made to the other campus per year was a bit difficult.
Ellig said a new service may be up and running within a few weeks that would probably only cost about “one or two thousand dollars.”