University of Vermont

Infrastructure Services


Telecommunications and Network Services provides all telecommunications and network services infrastructure for all departments on campus.  This includes: 

  • Network and phone service in 293 buildings on campus and 8 offsite facilities
  • Fiber between and within locations
  • 15,000 switch ports on 873 switches
  • 1100 wireless access points
  • 5000 phones
  • Infrastructure design for new buildings & projects 
  • Ongoing long-term planning for  infrastructure and equipment upgrades

Telecommunications and Network Services has developed Infrastructure Standards that ensure the deployment of a uniform and cost efficient telecommunications and data network infratstructure.   UVM TNS Symbols document available in CAD format upon request.  Email:  Subject Line: Request for TNS CAD Symbols

Infrastructure Maintainance

There are 293 buildings on campus and 8 offsite facilites that Telecommunications maintains.  This includes:

  • Providing connections for:

    • Fire Alarms
    • Building Control Systems
    • CatCard Services
    • Campus closed circuit cameras
    • Campus Cable TV
    • Wireless Access Points
  • Fiber and Ethernet cabling within buildings between Telecommunications spaces to each phone/data drop

Campus Locations

TNS designs and maintains all fiber and ethernet cabling within all the buildings on campus.  This includes the wiring from the telecommunication spaces to each port (phone and/or data drop) and the wireless access points.  There are 327 telecommunications rooms containing switches and major fiber splices.  Swtiches are used to aggregate all of the individual phones and access points into one space.  From that space, it is moved to the next level of telecommunication room before it is routed to one of the three major switch rooms located at Mann Hall, Waterman and Southwick.  TNS maintains 873 switches.

Fiber optic and copper cables are running between all buildings on campus. Miles and miles of fiber and copper are required to maintain all of the connections.  There are 92 maintenance holes of various sizes.  TNS is responsible for maintaining all fiber and copper plant including making sure backhoes and blasting do not disrupt service.  


Many older buildings have very old wiring that are not capable of modern connection speeds and not easily updated.  Installling new wiring is complicated by lack of a pathway to run wires and the presence of asbestoes in many areas that requires expensive abatement prior to re-wiring.  The physical characteristics of old wiring does not support current network speeds.  Newer computers and applications often do not work well on old wiring.  Many buildings, such as Waterman, have a mixture of new and old wiring.

telephone Old telephone wire
Incapable of reliable data transmission
cat2 Category 2 wire, twisted and unshielded
Cabable of up to 4 Mbps
cat3 Category 3 wire, twisted and unshielded
Capable of up to 10 Mbps
cat5 Category 5 wire, even more twisted and unshielded
Capable of up to 100 Mbps
cat6 Category 6 wire; the most twisted and shielded
Capable of up to 1 Gbps

New and renovated buildings have good wiring capable of high speed connections (100 mbit or gigabit) Category 5e or Category 6.  

There are one to several telecommunications rooms per building.  They contain fiber connections between locations and to conduits as well as switches.  There are a wide variety of rooms in various stages of upgrades.  Each switch has a variety of switch ports.  TNS maintains 15,000 switch ports.

telecommunications room

Remote Sites

TNS maintains connections to and within 8 remote sights in Chittenden County via a "county ring" of fiber.  The remote sights are:

  • Rubenstein Center
  • Innovation Center
  • Freezer Farm
  • BioResearch Complex
  • Technology Park (Data Center)
  • Fort Ethan Allen
  • ETS and Procurement
  • Colchester Research Facility

Fiber Ring


There are 1100 wireless access points as well as centrally managed enterprise access points.  TNS is responsible for maintaining the cabling infrastructure that each access point requires.  The access points feature automatic configuration adjustments to fine tune performance.  The signal for each access point is balanced against the access points to avoid interference.  These are designed for use in large dense wireless installations.  All residence halls are completely covered by WIFI.  Most classrooms and administrative buildings have at least partial WIFI.  There can be a maximum of 10,000 simultaneous users.  Below is a graph showing the number of users of the UVM wireless 1 week vs. 1 year.

UVM Wireless 1 Week

Wireless 1 week

UVM Wireless 1 Year
wireless 1 year

Last modified March 13 2019 11:52 AM

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