Connectivity - FAQ

Last Updated: 06/06/2013

General FAQ

What is the connectivity fee?

The “Connectivity Fee” is the single monthly charge to campus users for both voice and network services. The rate will be recalibrated annually in conjunction with central campus augmentations to the Fiscal Year 2012 general fund budget scoop so that the rate is standardized fairly across all fund sources.

What is the rate for Fiscal Year 2013?

The rate for Fiscal Year 2013 is $34.37.

How will my unit be charged the connectivity fee?

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, general fund programs (in which most grant-funded employees are included) had the equivalent of 90% of FY2010 voice charges scooped from their budgets to cover the fee. No further monthly charges will be billed to the programs.

Auxiliary and gift-funded programs will pay the connectivity charge monthly, similar to the network-only charge that was assessed before FY2012.  The amount of the charge is based on employee payroll headcount.

Will my unit be charged extra for adding voice and data services, or one-time equipment moves?

Many of these services are covered by the connectivity fee and will incur no additional charges to the unit. If OIT must bring in outside vendors to provide the service the unit will be charged. The vendor cost is passed on to the unit with no OIT markup.  Jack installation costs vary between $200 and $500 per jack, depending on the amount of work needed.

Will my unit be charged extra for long distance, phone set programming changes, or addition of outbound caller ID?

No, fees for various services will no longer be charged. The flat rate per employee headcount covers all of these services. Units will still be required to enter their access code to use long distance. Long distance codes should only be used for business purposes.

Why must I provide my speedtype when ordering service that is provided at no cost?

Speedtypes are used as an order number for service requests.

Are the rates paid by auxiliary and gift funds going to rise sharply/dramatically in the coming years?

No, the ten-year rate projection has the monthly connectivity rate growing steadily from $33 per month to roughly $45 per month by the fifth year and then stabilizing. In conjunction with central campus augmentations to general fund support, the rate will be standardized fairly across all fund sources. Even though general fund and grant programs will not see a monthly charge, the budget sweep that was taken in Fiscal Year 2012 enables central campus to pay OIT for general fund employees at the same rate as what is charged to auxiliary and gift programs.

Headcount FAQ

Can I change the speedtype where my connectivity fees are being charged?

Units may direct OIT to charge a different speedtype for connectivity fees if they need the charges to occur somewhere other than where the payroll is paid. The transfers should occur between similar fund types, i.e. transfer from an auxiliary to another auxiliary or gift fund. Please send your request to Angela.Peters@colorado.edu at OIT.

For adjunct faculty or faculty who teach in different departments or units, will they be charged double?

No. In the connectivity-charging algorithm, the faculty charges will be prorated by percentage of payroll, so the total will not exceed 100%. The headcount information does take into account the departments from which they are paid, so one department will only receive its share of an employee’s charge, while the remaining balance will go to the other department(s) from which he or she is paid.

How do you determine what my program is charged?

Charges are assessed using a combination of funding distribution and position (not employee) appointment. Position appointment determines the amount charged per employee. All positions with a 50% or greater appointment are charged the 100% Full Time Employee (FTE) rate. Positions with a 1% appointment are charged a 50% FTE rate. Student employees are charged at 12.5% FTE.

All headcount charges are distributed across all speedtypes on which payroll was actually charged as of the snapshot date. For instance, if payroll is split 70/30 between two different speedtypes, 70% of the charge will go to one speedtype, while 30% will go to the other speedtype.

I have a lot of students who work on projects that do not require phones or computer equipment. Will my unit still be charged for these students?

Yes. OIT had counted students at 25% of the full employee rate in previous fiscal years. After further analysis and consideration, OIT reduced the student hourly rate from 25% to 12.5%, effective FY2013. Benefits of this action include recognizing the various uses of student hourly employees, and the easing of the fiscal impact for units that have many student hourly employees with varying job duties. Please note that this reduction in the percentage assigned to a student hourly employee also means that the campus will limit the number of exception requests granted.

If my unit has personnel who work or teach offsite (not on Boulder Campus) will my unit be charged the connectivity fees?

Yes. As long as the employee is on the University’s payroll, the unit does not receive exemption from the charges.  It is not relevant whether they are physically onsite, because the current connectivity approach is based simply on a count of University employees. OIT does not count non-University personnel; the headcount data is sourced directly from the University’s HRMS data.

If your count included an employee who no longer works for my department, will we still get charged for them?

Yes. All employees who are active on the HR payroll system at the time of the headcount snapshot will be included. To avoid charges for employees that no longer work for the unit you must clean up or inactivate the payroll data as soon as personnel no longer work for your unit.

My employee salaries were paid out of auxiliary or gift funds, but their phones were paid out of general funds and were included in the budget sweep. Can I get a waiver?

We generally do not provide waivers for these situations but it is possible. You must demonstrate that General Fund budget was being used to cover this individual for consideration for a waiver. Each case will be reviewed on its own merits.

During the creation of this connectivity charge algorithm, it was recognized that there is fund type (general fund, auxiliary, etc.) crossover of support for personnel.  In recognition of this, the general fund budget sweep done in FY12 was based on 90% of FY10 actual charges with a credit back for those that dropped lines during FY11. Because the budget sweep was less than the amount of actual phone expenses, units should now have more flexibility to determine how to pay for connectivity fees.

*Please be aware that this issue will arise every year as long as the employee payroll is in an auxiliary or gift fund.

What if I still disagree with my headcount?

Contact PBA and be prepared to provide proof that your headcount is incorrect.

What if my headcount was correct at the time the snapshot was taken, but I have lost or added to my employees since then?

Department costs are fixed for the fiscal year and there will be no change in the amount charged each month. The gain or loss of personnel will be reflected in the amount that will be charged in the next fiscal year.

Where does the headcount data come from and when is the data snapshot?

The Office of Planning, Budget and Analysis extracts the headcount data from HRMS (the CU personnel payroll system) on November 1. This is the same source data that is used for a variety of reporting purpose. The November data is used to calculate the next fiscal year’s rate.

Who is included in the headcount?

All Boulder campus employees with an ACTIVE HR status at the time of the data snapshot will be included in the headcount data, even if they were not being paid for the entire year. This includes all full-time, part-time (including 1%), faculty, research assistants and student employees. To receive a list of the employees included in your headcount, please contact OIT.

We will not provide credits for employees that exit - in addition to not charging for employees that enter into - the ACTIVE HR status during the year subsequent to the personnel snapshot time period.

Why do I have an employee with a payroll funding source that is in a different location than where the OIT connectivity charge occurs?

The connectivity fee is charged to the actual Finance System speedtype that the person is paid from, not the HRMS Funding Distribution.

Available Services FAQ

Can I get GigE at no charge if I need it for my research or academic needs?

Fees recovered for various services performed by OIT will no longer be charged, including "gig-e" (1 gigabit) ports and activating new jacks in existing or new buildings. The costs paid by CU to outside contractors for phone and network jacks will be recovered from the unit requesting the work. The current network standard is 100 MB (or 0.1 GigE). In approximately two years, the campus-wide standard will be GigE. In the meantime, GigE will be provided to those whose work would be impeded without GigE. This typically affects those conducting research computing.