University of Pittsburgh
May 14, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, May 15 -- The University of Pittsburgh's School of Information Sciences (SIS) recently received a Frame Relay switch donated by North Pittsburgh Telephone Company (NPT). Frame Relay is a digital technology that sends data over the telephone network in packets or clusters. It is widely used by businesses for transmitting information at speeds up to 1.544 megabits per second.

"This gift is a great addition to our labs," said Rich Thompson, co-director for the Telecom Program at SIS. "It allows our MST students to have hands-on experience with a technology that is extremely popular in the real world."

In announcing the gift, Chris Goff, NPT's director of engineering and operations, said, "Pitt is recognized as one of the area's leading engineering institutions, and our management is cognizant of the value of their telecommunication programs. We were delighted to be able to help further the University's goals by donating equipment to the school's data networking labs."

NPT has given the University a Newbridge 36120 Mainstreet Frame Relay Switch, which was once one of the keystones of NPT's Frame Relay network. Rapid growth and the addition of new technology forced NPT's replacement of the data switching equipment. North Pittsburgh Telephone Company technicians installed the equipment in one of Pitt's telecom labs. This particular switch has a capacity of 16 DS1 circuits, and will be used by the university as an adjunct to its existing internal network, as well as telecom lab experiments by students in the Information Sciences program at the University of Pittsburgh.

NPT has donated other equipment to the University of Pittsburgh in years past, and has participated in several joint projects with Carnegie Mellon University, including testing DSL service. NPT also has had similar involvement with Point Park College, and NPT recruits engineering and management personnel and employs a number of graduates from these area schools.

Said Goff, "North Pittsburgh Telephone Company places strong emphasis on its relationships with area colleges and universities. The value of a technical education is greatly strengthened when students are afforded the opportunity for hands-on experience. Our donation of this Frame Relay switch makes that possible for those studying telecommunications at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Information Sciences."