Office of Information Technology
Effective Date April 1, 2012
All OIT Policies

Telecommunications Services Policy


The purpose of this policy is to define appropriate use of telecommunications services at Brown University. The Telecommunications Office (x3-2007, has responsibility for negotiating, procuring and managing all telecommunications services in support of the University's business needs. In the event your department needs a service that is not provided by Telecommunications, our staff will work with you add to the service to our portfolio and/or to assist your department to specify and procure the services.

This policy applies to all telecommunications services billed to Brown University accounts including but not limited to: traditional telephones, software based phones and remote phones, cellular phones, cellular tablet devices, pagers, calling cards, conferencing services and voicemail.

3.1 Telecommunications Acceptable Use

University-issued devices are intended for calls related to business activities. Certain call types are blocked and/or prohibited:

  • 900 Calls - If a business need should require access to 900 Services, contact the Telecommunications Office (x3-2007, with a request to unblock a specific 900 number.
  • Collect Calls - Receipt of collect calls through the use of a University phone is prohibited.

Most cellular devices are able to access email, calendar and contact information and many have document storage capabilities. By accepting a University-issued device, the user agrees to adhere to all University policies including but not limited to:

3.2 Cellular Telecommunications Devices

Access and use of University-issued devices is a privilege that is granted in connection with an individual's duties to the University. These devices are to be used for conducting University business and/or in furtherance of the educational mission of the University. Requests for University-paid services require approval by an authorized department representative and the Provost's Office.

Telecommunications will select a small number of approved devices. These devices have been tested for compatibility with the most common Brown applications and Brown WiFi. Should an end user desire a device/feature/service that is not available on one of the approved devices, the end user may present a case for Telecommunications to review the device for conditional approval. In the event the device is not approved and an end user still wants it, the end user will be required to sign a waiver confirming understanding that the University will offer "best effort" support of the devices. University-issued devices will be configured by OIT and will have active-synch enabled. The University reserves the right to "push" policies to mobile devices and to remotely reset devices. Any attempt to override University policies, i.e., "Jailbreak" a University-issued device, or any other action that violates manufacturer's warranty or Brown's agreement with carriers is prohibited.

3.3 Lost or Stolen Device

In the event of a lost or stolen University-issued device, the user must notify the Telecommunications Office immediately. Telecommunications will suspend voice services and issue a remote wipe of the device, if applicable. If a personal device is lost or stolen, the Help Desk may be able to remotely wipe your device. If a University-issued device is stolen, a report must be filed with the Department of Public Safety and/or the local authorities.

3.4 International Travel

Brown employees who plan to travel to an international destination with their University-issued device must contact the Telecommunications Office prior to their trip. In many cases a plan may be added to the phone that will reduce the cost of international usage. If international travel is frequent, it may make sense to keep an active international plan on the device(s). Telecommunications can discuss with the traveler the advantages of keeping or removing international plans upon their return. If your University-issued device is not capable of operating in your destination, Telecommunications may be able to loan a suitable device for your trip. For tips on travelling with (University-issued or personal) devices, see Prepare Your Mobile Device for Traveling.

3.5 Telecommunications Devices - Safety

University employees are expected to use all devices in a safe manner and to obey all laws, rules and regulations. Employees are strictly prohibited from texting (or other similar activity) when walking, driving or operating machinery. University employees are also prohibited from talking on a cellular phone device while operating machinery. If an employee must use a University issued cellular device (or personal device) while driving (where legal), a headset and voice activated dialing is strongly encouraged.

3.6 Mobile Device Plan Selection

Telecommunications continually reviews our vendor agreements to ensure we are providing the best value to the campus community. Currently available plans are listed on the Buying a Cellular Phone page. End users should consider their needs for services such as laptop tethering, international calling and international travel when selecting a plan. Telecommunications will provide guidance to assist in selecting optimal plans based on business needs.

3.7 Review of Brown Paid Telecommunications Charges

Department Management is responsible for determining what telephone devices and plans are needed for employees to conduct University business. The Telecommunications Office will provide consulting and advisory services, upon request, to assist in clarifying usage questions. Department bill reviews should investigate unusual usage volume, and unexpected charges. The use of University telecommunications services (desk phone, soft phone, mobile phones etc) for occasional personal calls is allowed with the understanding that the primary use be for business related purposes.

3.71 Review of Cellular Charges

Telecommunications provides an online monthly billing statement with charges on University-issued devices. Personal use of University-issued cellular devices will be considered a "de minimus" charge. Department management is responsible to review invoices. Should a department determine that an individual is exceeding incidental personal use on a University-issued device, they may require reimbursement for personal usage from the individual to the University. Continued use of a device for personal needs, which exceeds incidental usage, may result in loss of the device due to lack of clear business purpose.

NOTE: This section is not intended to provide tax advice. Employees who use University-issued cellular devices should contact their tax professional regarding any personal tax liability.

3.8 Reimbursement for Business Use of Personal Devices

See the Controller's Office Travel Policy: Miscellaneous Expense regarding communication devices and home internet charges.

3.9 Campus Directory Listing

The Campus Directory provides contact information for employees based on information in MyAccounts. Campus operators (401-863-1000 or dial 0) direct callers to campus departments. Please submit updates for Department listings to

3.10 Telephone Number Porting

Brown University has reserved phone numbers dedicated to the University.

3.11 Termination of Service

Telecommunications Services provided to a user by the University may be terminated at any time at a supervisor's discretion. Upon termination of employment with the University, all services are to be terminated by the Department Management (or re-assigned to another employee) and any University-issued devices must be returned to the University. Telecommunications should be advised of any re-assignments.

3.12 Privacy

The use of certain phones at the University may be monitored for quality control purposes. In such cases, callers will be notified that their call is being monitored for business purposes. Cellular transmissions are not secure, employees should use discretion in relaying confidential information via these devices and when calling someone on a cellular device.

Questions or comments to:

Replaces: Telephone Services Policy and Procedures for Cell Phone Services
Effective Date: April, 2012
Last Reviewed Date: February, 2015