The University of Texas at Austin

Voice over Internet Protocol Deployment Underway

November 8, 2013

In March of this year, the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Deployment Project launched. The goal of the project is to accomplish a major IT governance priority by replacing the University’s existing copper-based telephone system with a newer, more affordable and easier to maintain VoIP technology system. The project schedule is aggressive; over 20,000 phones campus-wide are to be converted within 2 years. This timeline was requested by IT governance and accelerates both access to new features for our customers and cost savings for units.

To achieve this transition within the designated time frame, the project team – with guidance from a task force and executive steering group – has adopted a well-considered approach. VoIP conversions are being implemented in four “Waves” and follow a building-by-building pattern of surveying existing phones, performing any required remediation, then installing and deploying the new devices (or software on mobile phones). The surveys for conversion of Wave 1 buildings – over 5,000 phones – are complete and deployments are underway. Over 1,200 lines have been converted and 300 lines discontinued to date. Surveying of Wave 2 buildings is already underway and deployment is expected to be complete in spring 2014. Additional information is available on the project wiki

So, what do we hear from our customers? How is the new system working so far? Feedback from those in Wave 1 buildings has been largely positive. Customers mention improvements in their phone service including having High Definition audio on their new phones and not having to use an authorization code when making U.S. long distance calls. There is also good news for units. Because the VoIP System takes advantage of the existing data network, future costs of providing telephone service will decrease, while allowing the addition of new features and increasing flexibility.

We appreciate the partnership with campus stakeholders and thank everyone as we continue to refine and improve the process moving forward.

If you would like to receive regular updates about the project, you can sign up at UT List for “voip-project” or check the ITS project page at for more information.

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