VoIP Report Card

A survey of ACUTA conference-g'ers examines the slow march toward voice over IP.

StatsAT ITS VOIP SEMINAR this past spring in Providence, RI, the Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education asked attendees about their institutions’ adoption of voice over IP (VoIP). While the sample of 200-plus campuses wasn’t intended to be a comprehensive survey of higher education, respondents represented both public and private institutions, from small colleges to major universities across North America.

Not on the Honor Roll Yet
Only 43 percent of institutions surveyed by ACUTA reported that they have VoIP networks, and almost all of those respondents noted that their current VoIP network covers less than 25 percent of the campus. All institutions with VoIP networks were asked to grade them. The averaged response was 3.13—a “B.”

Not bad. But the institutions surveyed that are currently using voice over IP identified numerous concerns and ongoing challenges that kept VoIP off the honor roll this year (see chart, left). Notably, security was listed by 77 percent of respondents as a concern. Quality of service and emergency 911 issues were each cited by 69 percent. And 62 percent pointed to management issues.

StatsFollow the Migration
Among the colleges and universities that don’t currently have voice over IP networks, 71 percent say they have migration plans in the next six months to two years or more (see chart, left). Of the institutions that already have VoIP networks—and most of those have VoIP only on portions of their campuses—77 percent are planning to expand their networks.

The takeaway seems to be a message of slow but certain movement to voice over IP. An anonymous comment from a survey respondent sums it up best: “Our vendor is moving in that direction, so we will slowly migrate when it makes sense.”

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