Editor’s Note: This article comes from the Nov. 17, 1987, edition of Scroll. Ruth Holt, the managing editor at the time, wrote this article.
Telephone registration was in full swing Nov. 1 around 1 p.m. as a record 33,000 phone calls were registered in a 150minute period. The phone system couldn’t handle the crunch.
Telephone users in Rexburg reported malfunctions in the system all last week.
Mountain Bell and Ricks College officials have met twice in an effort to resolve the problems.
Charles Frost, physical plant director, said the large number of incoming phone calls were overwhelming the system, preventing callers from connecting through to the college’s phone computer system.
“We’re working on a temporary solution to prevent registration problems,” he said.
In an average day, Ricks College will receive 7-8,000 phone calls. Last week, it was getting from 30 to 88 thousand calls in one day.
Due to the overload, numerous other phone problems have been created throughout town. One resident reported overhearing a conversation between two strangers when she picked up her phone to make a local call. Other complaints include dead phones and calls that will not connect.
People picking up the telephone often will not always receive a dial tone. Gerald Rydalch of Mountain Bell said that if users will take the phone off the hook and wait from 45 seconds to a minute, they will receive a dial tone.
In order to alleviate the congestion, Jim Gee, assistant academic vice president of support services, suggested a solution was to spread registration over a longer period of time allowing students more opportunity to register, without feeling rushed.
Many students are calling and immediately hanging up and redialing, creating hundreds of attempted calls to be channeled through the circuit every minute. Bugs in the system will disappear with time, officials said.