Telephone Service - FAQ

Last Updated: 12/03/2018

General FAQ

What is VoIP?

Cisco VoIP phones replaced Avaya phones on campus during a project in 2015-2016. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) transmits voice telephone calls over a data network. VoIP services on the CU Boulder campus will convert your voice energy into a digital signal that is packetized and travels over the campus IP data network. This enables the consolidation of voice and data networks on campus.

Phase 1 of the VoIP phone rollout occurred in 2015. More than 1200 VoIP phones were installed across 50 buildings at the Boulder campus. OIT continued with Phase 2 of the telephone conversion campus-wide in 2016. We replaced old phone sets with new VoIP phones on a building-by-building basis. Voicemail and email integration is being planned and will occur in the near future. 

Are voicemails accessible through my email?

Yes, OIT will soon be offering a new feature called Single-Inbox/SpeechView (SIB/SV) for users who currently have a voice mailbox on the CU Boulder campus telephone system. The SIB/SV service will provide an alternative way of receiving and listening to your work voicemail. You will still be able to dial into the CU Boulder voicemail system to retrieve messages, but SIB/SV will additionally deliver a speech-to-text transcription and a .wav audio file attachment to your Outlook email inbox.

This feature will only be available for use on phone lines associated with a single-user IdentiKey and will not function for shared, group or general phone numbers that are not assigned to a specific person.

To prevent the written transcription and email transmission of highly confidential information, the SIB/SV feature is prohibited for any user who may receive this type of information by telephone. Visit the IT Security Policies website for more information about highly confidential information.

How are Cisco VoIP phones connected?

The existing data network jack in your office will directly connect into your phone. Then, a cable will be connected from your phone to your computer that will provide network connectivity for your computer. Your VoIP phone will not affect your network speed. Refer to the diagram below.

Are calls routed over the public internet?

No. On-campus telephone calls will be carried by the CU Boulder campus IP data network. Calls to and from the campus will be carried by our local voice vendor, Centurylink, as they are today.

Are Auto Attendants available in Cisco phones?

Yes. Auto Attendant technology, which provides phone tree menus, are available with Cisco phones. If you need assistance, contact IT Service Delivery at 5-3333.

Do VoIP phones work during power outages?

In the event of a power outage, campus networks have been designed to maintain connectivity using UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) for a minimum of 30 minutes.

What happens if I get locked out of my voicemail box?

The new voicemail system will lock automatically after 3 failed login attempts. It will automatically unlock after 30 minutes. 

When I listen to voicemails, the system plays the messages, then the date and time the message was received. Can this be changed to play the message information first?

Yes, this setting can be changed for your voicemail if desired. Please call 5-HELP to request the change.

Can I use a wireless headset on Cisco phones?

The new Cisco 8851 VoIP telephones are Bluetooth compatible and there are a variety of compatible wired and wireless headsets from manufacturers such as Plantronics, VTech, and Jabra. We recommend checking manufacturers' websites to select headsets based users' unique preferences, budget, and requirements. For example, some people like single ear headsets and some like headband style headsets for both ears. People working in open office areas may need noise cancelling microphones, which are more expensive. Manufacturers frequently release new models and discontinue old models, so we are unable to maintain a current list of all models on our web site.

Headset manufacturers' websites will typically list compatibility, so be sure to check that the selected headsets are compatible with the Cisco 8851 telephones. OIT will not be providing or supporting headsets on the new Cisco phones. Once you have selected the desired headset model, we recommend you investigate its availability on the CU Marketplace.

Will my wired headset provided by OIT work on Cisco phones?

Yes, some of the wired headsets that OIT provided in the past will work on the Cisco 8851 VoIP phones.  However, an expensive adapter is necessary. If you wish to re-use your existing wired headset you will need to purchase a headset adapter for your new phone which can be ordered through the CU Marketplace.

Please note: When the new VoIP phones are installed, the existing phones and connected headsets will be removed. If you wish to keep your existing headset, please remove it from the phone and store it out of sight before the scheduled telephone installation.

OIT hopes that end users will instead take advantage of the new technology supported by the Cisco VoIP phones and select and purchase a Bluetooth headset which offers greater user mobility.  The new Cisco 8851 VoIP telephones are Bluetooth compatible and there are a variety of compatible wired and wireless headsets from manufacturers such as Plantronics, VTech, and Jabbra.  We recommend checking manufacturers' websites to select headsets based users' unique preferences, budget, and requirements. For example, some people like single ear headsets and some like headband style headsets for both ears. People working in open office areas may need noise cancelling microphones, which are more expensive. Manufacturers frequently release new models and discontinue old models, so we are unable to maintain a current list of all models on our web site.

Headset manufacturers' websites will typically list compatibility, so be sure to check that the selected headsets are compatible with the Cisco 8851 telephones. OIT will not be providing or supporting headsets on the new Cisco phones. Once you have selected the desired headset model, we recommend you investigate its availability on the CU Marketplace.

What is the Corporate Directory function on my phone?

Corporate Directory is a function on all Cisco phones that enables searching contacts within an institution. This function is not enabled at this time but is a feature that will be available some time after implementation.

What is the red box with a number in it by the top left button on my phone, and how do I get rid of it?

The red box shows the number of missed incoming calls since the last time you checked your call log. To get rid of the red box, you can check your call log by pressing the second button down on the right side of the phone. For more information on phone features, visit the Cisco VoIP main page.

Can I move my own VoIP telephone after it is installed?

No. Moving your IP telephone may result in incomplete location information being shown if the phone is used to dial 911 in an emergency situation.  For telephone service adds, moves, or changes, please contact your Telecommunications Liaison. If you are not sure who your liaison is, use the Telecommunication Liaison lookup tool.  Authorized Telephone liaisons can use the OIT Services Order form to request the change.

My phone display looks different and I can't make or receive calls.

Try unplugging and firmly re-plugging the Ethernet cable to the network connection on the back of the phone, and wait for the phone to re-register. If your computer or docking station is connected through the phone, you may temporarily lose your network connection.  If this does not resolve the problem, please contact the IT Service Center by calling 5-HELP or emailing help@colorado.edu.

Networking and Voice Service Rates

Will my unit be charged extra for adding voice and data services, or one-time equipment moves?

Many of these services are covered by the connectivity fee and will incur no additional charges to the department.

What costs are associated with new jack installations on campus?

If OIT must bring in outside vendors/contractors to provide the service, the department will be charged. The vendor cost is passed on to the department with no OIT markup. Standard jack installation costs up to $360 per jack with one cable, $560 for two cables, additional cables added to a jack will not exceed $200 per cable, depending on the amount of work needed.

*Note: If special circumstances such as new cable pathway, core drilling or asbestos abatement is required, additional costs will be passed along to the unit. In such circumstances, the unit will be notified of additional charges in advance of any work being completed.

Why must I provide my speedtype when ordering service that is provided at no cost?

Speedtypes are used as an order number for service requests, as well as a record for services needed by a department. 

What is the connectivity fee?

The “Connectivity Fee” is the single monthly charge to campus users for both voice and network services. The rate was be recalibrated annually in conjunction with central campus augmentations to the general fund budget scoop so that the rate is standardized fairly across all fund sources.

How will my unit be charged the connectivity fee?

General fund programs (in which most grant-funded employees are included) had the equivalent of 90% of FY2010 voice charges scooped from their budgets to cover the fee. No further monthly charges will be billed to the programs.

Auxiliary and gift-funded programs will pay the connectivity charge monthly, similar to the network-only charge that was previously assessed. The amount of the charge is based on employee payroll headcount.

Are the rates paid by auxiliary and gift funds going to rise sharply/dramatically in the coming years? 

No, the ten-year rate projection has the monthly connectivity rate growing steadily from $33 per month to roughly $45 per month by the fifth year and then stabilizing.  In conjunction with central campus augmentations to general fund support, the rate will be standardized fairly across all fund sources.  Even though general fund and grant programs will not see a monthly charge, the budget sweep that was taken in FY12 enables central campus to pay OIT for general fund employees at the same rate as what is charged to auxiliary and gift programs.

Where does the headcount data come from and when is the data snapshot?

The Office of Planning, Budget and Analysis extracts the headcount data from HRMS (the CU personnel payroll system) on November 1. This is the same source data that is used for a variety of reporting purpose. The November data is used to calculate the next fiscal year’s rate.

Who is included in the headcount?

All Boulder campus employees with an ACTIVE HR status at the time of the data snapshot will be included in the headcount data, even if they were not being paid for the entire year. This includes all full-time, part-time (including 1%), faculty, research assistants and student employees. To receive a list of the employees included in your headcount, please contact OIT.