Have you ever called The University of Texas-Pan American and got the Hidalgo County Courthouse or an area business instead?
That will no longer be an issue the next time you dial UTPA. The campus will begin to phase out the eight different telephone prefixes currently being used and replace them with a unified prefix of 665.
The 665 prefix is already functioning at UTPA according to Jeffrey A. Graham, associate vice president for Information Technology Support. UTPA was assigned a new telephone prefix for all of their current telephone numbering, which includes 381, 316, 292, 318, 380, and others.
"By having one prefix for all of the Edinburg campus we will cut down on the confusion between prefixes and allow the university to brand itself," Graham said. "By having a unified prefix, UT Pan American has available to itself the full 10,000 phone number block within that prefix range of (956) 665-0000 through (956) 665-9999 and can take advantage of that."
Graham said an example of the use of the new unified prefix is the main switchboard number for the university, which is currently (956) 381-UTPA, has now been switched to 956/665-UTPA.
"The new prefix is available and working today," Graham said. "The plan is to have a transition period where both the old prefixes and the new 665 prefix work until May 1, 2011. This will allow for the new phone books with the 665 prefix to be printed and delivered to the community next spring. On the last day of the transition period, the old prefixes will be shut off and all calls will be routed through (956) 665."
UTPA is the sole assignee for this new prefix, which will allow the university to have a unique telephone prefix identity apart from any telephone number in the city of Edinburg and across the Rio Grande Valley.
"As we have grown it has been impossible to get a continuous block of phone numbers to satisfy the university's needs, and as a result today the university has eight different prefixes for the Edinburg location that are shared with the community at large," he said.
The prefix change will have minimal affect on UTPA faculty and staff with assigned phone numbers, and the extension to extension dialing on campus will remain the same, said Graham.
"The only impact will be when calling onto campus from the outside. Before, the dialer needed to know which of the prefixes to use before dialing the correct extension. Today all of the extensions are available by dialing (956) 665 and the extension," Graham said. "One area that will affect everyone is the printed and promotional material that will need to have the phone number prefix updated."
For more information on the telephone prefix transition, contact the Division of Information Technology Telephone Services at (956) 665-2621.