U.S. Merchant Marine Academy uses VoIP for President Bush commencement speech

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U.S. Merchant Marine Academy uses VoIP for President Bush commencement speech

On June 19th, President George W. Bush will be delivering the commencement address at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. In my senior year of high school I actually considered going to the Merchant Marine Academy, but I did apply to the Air Force Academy and the Coast Guard Academy, both of which are very difficult to get into. I passed the physical and I was able to get a nomination bid from Senator Dodd - one of only 10 given out per member of Congress and the Vice President. It's an arduous process and I even recall military officers coming to my house to interview my family. I didn't get the bid to enter the Air Force Academy, but I have no regrets in trying. I would have loved to be the guy that dropped 1 of 2 500lb bombs on Al-Zarqawi's head, but alas my eyesight precludes flying jets and I doubt the Air Force has many (if any) 35 year old pilots.

In any event, President Bush's commencement speech surprisingly marks the first visit to the United States Merchant Marine Academy by a sitting president. Interestingly enough, in order to support the press corps that is expected to cover this event, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy has recruited the aid of M5 Networks, a New York-based outsourced VoIP service provider, to quickly set up 150 secure phone lines and IP handsets for use by the media, since it was unable to support this number of additional phone lines on its existing PBX. Not sure why the press needs VoIP landlines when most press can call in their stories via their cellphone, but maybe for security reasons cellphones aren't allowed? Worried about IED bombs activated by cellphone perhaps?

In any event, according to M5 Networks, "This technology deployment highlights the simplicity and flexibility of a hosted VoIP phone system and how this type of managed solution can easily eliminate the strain that IP communications can place on an organization's limited technical resources, a pain point that is very commonly felt by the more than 450 small and mid-size businesses that M5 typically serves."

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