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VoIP General FAQs

What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It 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.
I understand that I don’t need a physical phone. How do I make and receive calls if I don’t have a handset?

With VoIP, you don’t need a physical phone in the traditional sense. To make and receive calls, you can use an application on your computer, along with headphones or earbuds with a microphone, or an application on your mobile phone. To make a call to one of your contacts, you right-click on their name and select Call:

You can also manually dial the number from the application:

How does 5-digit dialling work between Bell Centrex and BCT VoIP phones?

One of the end user experiences that will be immediately affected is 5-digit dialling (direct extension dialling). Currently, Bell Centrex users are able to dial 946- and 978- numbers using only the last 5 digits of the phone number.

Once a phone line is moved from Bell Centrex to BCT (VoIP), that number will no longer be reachable from a Bell Centrex line using 5 digits.  Users will be required to dial all 10 digits of the phone number. If they call the number using only 5 digits, they will hear a ‘your call cannot be completed’ message. BCT users will be able to dial both Bell Centrex and BCT phone numbers using only 5 digits.

The chart below shows the circumstances under which 5-digit dialling will and will not work:

Calling Scenario Does 5-digit dialling work?
Centrex to Centrex Yes
Centrex to BCT No (you must dial 9 + 10 digit phone number)
BCT to Centrex Yes
BCT to BCT Yes

 

 

Who is the supplier of VoIP at U of T?

The company supplying VoIP services to the U of T community is BroadConnect Telecom.

As a user, where can I find training for the new system?

Please visit the downloads and training site

What does the Telecom Admin fee pay for?

Telecommunications is a central cost recovery unit which provides a wide variety of services to departments. The Telecom Admin fee covers the staffing and operating costs of this unit.
Telecom manages 4 separate contracts on behalf of the University:

Bell Centrex – while most departments have already migrated to VoIP, we are still obliged to offer the ability to have and maintain copper telephone lines throughout the University.

Bell Mobility – we support close to 3,000 Bell Mobility lines across the university offering tiered cellphone plans to departments as well as access to a portal for ordering phones and accessories.

Rogers – In 2021 we have started some new projects with the Rogers network, testing innovative features for online communication as well as starting a new contract with Rogers Mobility, offering new services and aligning our corporate mobility services with the vendor of record for ministry of government services.

GoCo (BroadConnect) – Telecom is the central point of contact for the University’s VoIP provider, GoCo, which provides over 12,000 VoIP lines. Telecom manages the contract, handles public procurement obligations including the initial RFP process through which the University procured the VoIP services.

Specific to VoIP, Telecom provides support to all U of T departments dealing primarily as an escalation point for local IT support. Telecom offers guidance on network setup, troubleshooting and access to the servers to execute changes. In some cases, Telecom provides detailed troubleshooting and support in cases where a department does not have the local expertise to field technical questions.

Telecom provides ongoing training and information sessions to help answer many of the questions that users might otherwise pose to their local IT. Telecom also maintains a collection of support and training materials such as user guides and video tutorials.

Telecom provides expertise in Call Centre setup as well as providing practical assistance in setting up call queues and reports.

During the 3 year migration-to-VoIP period which has now ended, departments were paying 3 components: the VoIP line fee, the migration fee and the Telecom admin fee. Now that the migration period is over, departments that have migrated are only being charged 2 components: the GoCo line fee and the Telecom admin fee.

Departments used to pay $33 per line all in for Bell Centrex. Now they are paying $17.75 for a standard VoIP line or $19.75 for a Premium line which include a personal audio-conferencing bridge which they used to pay for separately.

Started in Summer 2020, the new automated billing system for VoIP will be introducing enhanced VoIP billing reports. This is a major improvement on the old Bell reports that did not allow for any kind of analysis other than manually checking data. The new reports provide Business Officers the ability to drill down into much more detailed information per line.
The UofT Phonebook integration project currently underway will allow for seamless updates to the U of T phone directory. Typically, it was incumbent on Business Officers to manage their departmental directory through a very antiquated system. The legacy phone directly was out of date so a new solution is being built to ensure that any updates to the VoIP user data is also reflected in the U of T directory.

Lastly, a new emergency dashboard used by Campus Police provides real time data of emergency calls to 8-2222 and non-emergency calls to 8-2323. This completely replaces the old system used by Campus Police that was handled with paper updates faxed from Telecom to Campus Police where updates were manually entered. With the new system, updates are done is in real time and operators receiving a call know exactly who is calling and can see the street address in a person’s VoIP profile. Telecom is continuing to work on enhancing this service to provide prompts to users to confirm their location data to ensure that user profiles are kept current.

What support does the Telecommunications department provide?

Telecom will support user in the following setup:

  • A physical Polycom VVX311/411/501/601/IP6000 phone connected by wired cable to the Internet
  • Assist users log in to their Communicator 7 desktop software or mobile app
  • Ensure the Communicator 7 desktop software can receive incoming call and make outbound call on a wired connection to the Internet
  • Ensure the Communicator 7 mobile app can receive incoming call and make outbound call on a mobile data connection to the Internet

The following setup is not a standard configuration supported by Telecom, we will provide best effort in assisting the users if they encounter issue however we cannot guarantee voice quality in these setups:

  • Using Communicator 7 over Wi-Fi network on any types of device
  • Headsets are not supported. Due to the fact that there are too many headset variants among different manufacturers, and each model has its own features that may or may not work with C7, the onus is on the user to make sure the headset chosen is working for C7. We can provide recommended hardware if requested but it is not a substitute for standard configuration.

Best Practise for Communicator 7 Usage:

  • C7 account should not be logged in more than once simultaneously on the same platform. Example: computer and computer, or cellphone and cellphone.  Account logged-in in multiple places of the same platform will cause incoming call routing issue where sometimes a call is presented to one computer but not the other, or not ringing on any computer at all.
  • You can however log in to different platforms (computer/mobile/tablet/Polycom phone) at the same time using the same account
  • We strongly recommend assigning one C7 account per user. If account must be shared, then “one log in at a time” policy needs to be strictly enforced.  The person using a shared C7 account must log out of the app at the end of their shift.
  • We strongly recommend not to enable VPN connection while using Communicator 7 as it can cause audio degradation during high traffic times
Where can I find the links to download the Communicator 7 app?

The website www.myphonetraining.com has all of the links to download the C7 app for Windows desktop and IOS.

For downloading the app to a cell phone you can find the application in the App Store on an Apple device or on Google Play on an Android device.

The myphonetraining site also has video tutorial and manual guides for using both the application and the physical Polycom handsets.

Why am I being billed a Telecom Admin fee?

Departments have always paid a Telecom Admin fee in order to cover the staffing and operating costs of the central Telecommunications unit.
As part of the new VoIP billing process, one of the primary goals was to increase transparency. Whereas the Telecom Admin fee used to be built into the Bell Centrex line fees charged to departments, the new VoIP billing process splits out the VoIP line fee from the Telecom Admin fee. This is why you are seeing a separate Telecom Admin fee in your departmental phone bill.

Will I lose phone service when power goes out ?

Depending on where you are and whether or not the network you are using has emergency backup power, your VoIP phone and/or computer may lose power.  If that happens, you will not be able to make phone calls using the VoIP system.  We recommend that you keep a Bell line active as an emergency line or use a cell phone to make calls during power outages.