Realistically, just produce documentation showing you warned IT that this would create a shitstorm and take it to the big boss to show how IT dropped the ball. The problem should solve itself at that point.
I could probably almost double my salary if I moved to an app development or dba role, but the headaches those guys have to put up with just makes it not worth it to me. At least at our company. Engineering just seems to be a lot more by the book.
DS3 signalling isn't going anywhere either; it's the way of muxing a bunch of T1s or SLA guaranteed customer circuits for circuit protection and mapping across the transport network infrastructure. A bunch of DS0s become DS1s; a bunch of DS1s become DS3s; a bunch of DS3s become OC-xxx; a bunch of those so-called obsolete T1s form the backbone of a telco transport network.
I won't claim to be intimately aware of telco operations, but it's my understanding that more and more telcos are ditching channelized copper on the backbone and migrating toward IP based solutions over fiber because they're easier to work with. If copper will still be here in 15 or 20 years I don't see it in the backbone, I see it as the last mile.
My company has fiber on premise for IP, but we still have PRIs from the LEC for our voice service. Any time you bring voice in over an IP transport (as in SIP), you have to make sure the IP network has proper QoS, etc whereas PRI "just works". PRI is usually more expensive, but not overly so. When we replaced our PBX a few years ago we considered SIP, but when we presented the various options to the powers that be, they chose to stick with PRI because it has a proven track record whereas SIP was just gaining traction in the market.
I think in 15 years you will definitely see fiber steal a large market share of those customers that are currently using copper, but I think there will still be plenty of copper around.
We have a computer lab with ~30 computers
Even old computers will still run plenty of good games...Quake, Warcraft, Halflife, Unreal Tournament, etc.
Quake and Quake 2 in particular made it easy to create your own mods. Why not spend time hacking on the games and the rest playing the games? Great way to keep it interesting and fun.
Setting everyone up by themself might let them do some basic lessons, but why teach them something they'll probably never experience in the real world?