Report Outlines Higher Ed Concerns on VoIP

A survey by the Association for Communications Professionals in Higher Education concluded that fewer than half of colleges and universities in North America have migrated to voice over IP networks, but many are readying conversions in the next six months to two years.

Of 279 schools surveyed, 43 percent said that they are using VoIP but most noted their VoIP network covers less than 25 percent of their campus. Among those who assigned their VoIP network a grade, the responses averaged out to a B, or a 3.13 grade point average. About 25 percent gave the network an "incomplete."

The most frequently cited benefits of VoIP networks were improved end user features (46 percent); cost savings (31 percent); and network efficiency (23 percent).

But campus telecom managers told surveyors that they were concerned about the security and quality of service of VoIP. Security was named by 77 percent of the users as a concern, and quality of service and emergency 911 were cited by 69 percent.

Sixty-two percent said management was an issue, as well as cost, user training, complexity, and help desk.

The survey showed no apparent relationship between use of VoIP and whether the institution was large or small or public or private.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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