The initiative, entitled Global University Phone System provides Linux software and hardware to link traditional phone networks via the Internet to enable free calling between universities and any Internet-connected PC.
"With GUPS, universities can experience substantial cost savings by making calls to other universities over the Internet connections they are already paying for, which reduces their telecom bills," says REEF director Tina Donaldson. "Equally as important as cost savings is the removal of barriers to encourage the free flow of knowledge from any PC in the world to university campus phones and vice versa free of charge."
The GUPS Initiative provides universities with a VoIP system they can easily install and configure to connect their phone networks with other academic institutions around the globe. Calls then travel over the Internet using VoIP, thus bypassing traditional telecommunication charges for phone calls and connecting universities to the rapidly expanding VoIP community.
Beta testing institutions from around the world, led by UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, University of Oklahoma, University of Philippines and Brigham Young University have been successfully routing calls. During the test period thousands of calls were successfully completed between universities and PCs seamlessly.