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University Telephone System

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


To report problems or to request telephone system changes related to the University Telephone System, please see the Telephone Service by Building page for specific contact information.

Answers to FAQs

The University Telephone System is VoIP-based. What is that exactly?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a network connection instead of a regular (analog) phone line. VoIP converts your voice into a digital signal for transmission. With the VoIP phone system you will plug your phone into a network jack versus the telephone jack.

* NOTE: There are multiple complex components associated with the telephone system, including the core data network and local building access to the data network. A localized building power outage or a data network disruption could result in a telephone service outage. Therefore, additional analog telephones (referred to as "courtesy phones") are installed in buildings across Grounds to provide emergency calling capabilities during an outage.

Will I lose phone service during power and/or data network failures?

The UVA Hospital has a high availability network and full generator backup power, so there should be no loss of VoIP telephone service in Hospital buildings.

As with all other network-based services, telephone service in most academic division buildings will be available for about a 5-minute window immediately following the start of a power outage. Likewise, data network outages will also affect telephone service. However, recent upgrades to the University’s core data network and building network infrastructure have increased the UVA network’s redundancy and reliability.

Will I lose analog phone service during power and/or data network failures?
Analog phone lines should continue to operate during both power and data network failures.
Will there be public access to analog phones for use in buildings in the event of a power or network outage?
A localized building power outage or a data network disruption could result in a telephone service outage. Therefore, additional analog telephones (referred to as "courtesy phones") have been installed in public building areas across Grounds to provide calling capabilities during an outage.
Can I still reach police, fire, and rescue by dialing 911?
Yes, you can reach emergency services by dialing 911 or 9 + 911 (both are acceptable).
PLEASE NOTE: In the event that you dial 9-1-1 by mistake, please stay on the line and tell the emergency operator that you have called in error. Abandoned calls can result in a first responder being dispatched to the origin of the call to insure there is no emergency.
What is a “public” phone on the telephone system?
Generally, a public phone is any telephone installed in a public access area (building entryways, hallways, certain conference rooms, residence halls, etc.), for which long-distance FAC codes should be required. However, departments, can designate any phone as a "public" station type, based upon departmental needs.
Is my department's conference room a “public” phone?

That depends. If your department is willing to cover all long-distance charges originating from the conference room phone, then no FAC will be required. In that case, the phone is departmentally shared, and not “public.”

On the other hand, if most of the long-distance calls are initiated by users in other departments/areas, choose to designate the conference room phone as a “public” phone. In the case of a “public” conference room phone, FAC codes will be required for all long-distance calls, both domestic and international.

Do I have options for sending my voicemail messages to my email inbox?
You may access the telephone system portal to make changes in your voicemail setup, including sending your voicemail messages to your email inbox.
Does the phone ring differently for internal vs. external incoming calls?
This feature is not turned on by default. You will need to set it following the instructions for Priority Alerts online or in the video tutorial.
Are there long-distance charges with the telephone system?
Yes, detailed long-distance billing to departments will continue regardless of Forced Authorization Code (FAC) requirement or use. Long distance calls will continue to be itemized and billed, and supervisors will continue to review and authorize monthly eStatements where a user’s calls exceed $10 per month.
Why do we still have long distance charges with the telephone system?
Although it is the University's phone system, we use our existing telephone service providers. CenturyLink is our local telephone service provider and Verizon is our long-distance provider.
Will I need to use a Forced Authorization Code (FAC) for long-distance calls?
FAC codes will only be required for:
  • international long-distance calling (calling outside the U.S.), and,
  • calling from on-Grounds telephones that are designated as “public.”

Request a FAC code »

Note: As part of the VoIP project, the steering committee authorized the elimination of FAC requirements except in the case of international long distance calling - or - domestic long distance calling from a “public” station type (UVA Risk Management and Internal Audit participated in this decision). The elimination of the FAC requirement does NOT eliminate personal responsibility regarding appropriate business phone use, nor does it eliminate itemized long distance billing to departments.

Can I still just dial 7 digits when calling local 540 numbers?
No. When calling local areas such as Nelson, Orange, Afton, Gordonsville and Greenwood, you will now need to dial the full number, including the 540 area code. Do not use a 1 before the area code. This includes the number ranges of 540-832-XXXX, 540-456-XXXX and 540-406-XXXX. These are still local numbers and will not incur a long distance charge.
Will my existing headset work with the new telephone system?
Many existing telephone headsets should be compatible with the Polycom VVX telephones, however compatibility should not be assumed. Please see our detailed information about headsets on our models page.
I am hearing impaired. Will the new system support hearing aids and other amplification devices?
Yes, the telephones are compliant with the Hearing Aid Compatibility act of 1988 and will support magnetic coupling and some amplifiers. If your hearing aid is Bluetooth compatible, a USB to Bluetooth adapter can be purchased to support it (VVX 500 model only). The following specifications are applicable to hearing aids and the new telephone sets:
  • hearing aid compatibility ITU-T P.370 and TIA 504A standards
  • compliant with ADA Section 508 Subpart B 1194.23 (all)
  • hearing aid compatible (HAC) handset for magnetic coupling to hearing aids
I am visually impaired. What model is recommended for my situation?
Polycom recommends the VVX 410 model for the visually impaired.
What is the difference in caller ID displays?
  • Calls to others on Grounds will display the caller’s name and extension;
  • Calls to numbers outside the University will display as it is currently - “University of Virginia;”
  • Calls from outside the University will display that caller's name and number.
In the new system, any changes to the on-Grounds caller ID will require your using the Service Request Tool.
Is there a way for me to block my phone number from displaying in caller ID on outgoing calls?
Yes, you are able to do this through configuration options on your phone. You can block your phone number from appearing in caller ID on outgoing calls both by individual call or permanently on all calls.
Where do I report telephone troubles or send requests for moves/adds/changes?
The telephone system is supported internally by UVA IT and Health System IT personnel. If you need help and you are:
How do I change/correct the name display that appears when I call others on Grounds?
You will need to use the Service Request Tool.
Am I able to move and relocate my own phone?
No, not for now. Users are still required to submit change requests for Moves/Adds/Changes due to the criticality of maintaining accurate telephone location (building/room) information for E911 reporting purposes. (Note: There are plans for future automation enhancements that will facilitate some self-service moves.)
Is the telephone system integrated with Microsoft Lync?
Not at this time. However, Microsoft Lync integration is fully supported by the telephone system and may be implemented at a future date.
Can I use a soft client instead of a telephone?
Not at this time. The telephone system fully supports soft client functionality; however, there are desktop support issues which require advance coordination with departmental Local Support Partners (LSPs), etc. This is anticipated as a future system offering.
Does the telephone system rely on UVA’s Internet connection to send and receive phone calls outside of UVA?
No, the University’s telephone system utilizes private, dedicated, and physically redundant links to our public telephone network service provider. This will provide enhanced redundancy over our present telephone systems’ link which operates without such redundancy.
Has the University made any improvement to its network infrastructure now that most telephones will rely on its operation?
Yes, in late 2013, the University completed a Grounds-wide refresh of its core network and building network infrastructure. These network upgrades increased reliability and redundancy for the telephone system. Enhancements including:
  • New redundant core routing hardware requiring fewer downtimes for maintenance and providing support for 10 times the network performance.
  • Grounds-wide virtual segmentation of telephone network traffic from standard data network traffic.
  • Quality of Service (QoS) policies prioritize delivery of VoIP telephone network traffic.
Since the phones support “1Gb Ethernet pass-through”, will I be able to have a 1Gb Ethernet connection through my phone?
There is ongoing work to upgrade to 1 Gb connectivity, so some phones may not have a 1Gb connection on day one. Changes will need to be completed in the building wiring closet to enable 1Gb Ethernet service to your new phone. ITS will perform these changes during a follow-on scheduled maintenance for each building.
What can I do about annoying phone calls, spam calls, robocalls?
University phones may not be put on the Do Not Call list, nor can you block specific numbers that you may think are spam or robocalls. If the spam/robocalling is persistent or becomes harassing, you may request a new phone number.
Is phone service available for students?
Telephone service is not automatically provided in residence hall rooms. For more information on service and pricing, please email the IT billing staff or call (434) 924-4148. Courtesy, common area and/or hallway telephones are provided in University housing facilities in case of building power outages or where cellular phone service may be unavailable.
What about cell phones in residence halls?
UVA Housing and Residence Life has worked with ITS and cellular carriers to enhance cellular phone reception/coverage in many University housing facilities. Please refer to our page about cellular phone coverage at UVA for more information.
What about phone service for faculty & staff in University housing?
Contact the Housing department to determine what arrangements need to be made for telephone service in these residences; telephone service fees are not normally included in these rentals.
How do I request a CenturyLink Service that cannot be provided by the University Telephony System?
All CenturyLink services will be direct billed to the department/organization requesting the service. Use the Service Request Tool and request the required service(s) using the Phone – Special Features item. Compete the Phone – Special Features request form and provide the following information in the Describe the special phone feature or configuration that you require text box:
  • Existing CenturyLink account (provide account number, billing contact, and mailing address):
  • New CenturyLink account (provide billing contact and mailing address):
  • Physical address of service (provide street address):
  • Technical contact for service (provide name and telephone number):
  • Long distance required (yes or no)?
    • If yes, CenturyLink is default long-distance provider. If another long-distance provider is preferred, indicate provider.
  • Telephone number published or non-published?
  • Describe service that is needed:

** NOTE: To disconnect CenturyLink service(s), use the same Phone – Special Features item in the Service Request Tool to make the request.

  Page Updated: Thursday 2018-03-15 14:53:20 EDT