Introduction

Cellular Telephone Service is subject to the Alabama State Bid Law.  Therefore, all cellular service must be provided by the University’s contract vendor.  This contract was established through a competitive bid process.

Cellular telephones can be an effective communication resource for University employees when conventional telephone service is not available.  However, the cost of cellular service is high compared to regular communication devices such as campus telephone service, calling cards, pagers and two-way radios.  The University must ensure that proper management controls are in place relative to the use of cellular telephones and the costs associated with their installation and operation at the University.

Policy Statement

A Cellular Service Request Form must be completed to request the purchase or lease of a cellular telephone or for the payment of a contract for ongoing air time charges.  The completed form, including the appropriate approvals, should be forwarded to the Telecommunication Department.  Approval may only be granted when the use of a cellular telephone best meets a particular institutional communication need and not for user convenience.  To this end, other options such as two-way radios and pagers should be considered.

Upon receipt of an approved request form, the Telecommunication Department will assist in determining the most effective service plan to meet the user’s needs.  Telecommunication will contact the cellular telephone provider and arrange for the service and delivery date.

All costs associated with cellular telephone service will be charged to the user’s department.  Such costs include, but are not limited to, equipment, service initiation fee, monthly fees, per-minute costs of calls in excess of the calling plan allocated, maintenance and repair of equipment, and programming and replacement of lost, stolen or damaged equipment.
Monthly billing for cellular services will be reviewed by the Telecommunication Department only to ensure the most cost effective rate plan is being used.  Payments for services will be issued by Telecommunication to the cellular service provider.  The user’s department will be charged the appropriate amount on their Telecommunication monthly statement which will include detailed information of the charges.

It is the responsibility of the Department Head to provide a monthly examination of the cellular telephone billing and to maintain copies of all monthly billing reports. This review is to ensure proper use of the equipment and to identify any non-University use of the cellular telephone services by the user or by other unauthorized users that result in per-minute charges or per-item charges in excess of a user’s calling plan allocation.  Each non-University call must be identified on the billing report and approved by the Department Head.

Cellular telephone service should be used for official University business only.  ALL cellular telephone calls, both incoming and outgoing, are billable to the user.  Users must not allow family members, friends, or other non-authorized users to use a University issued cellular telephone for any purpose.

The University recognizes that occasional personal use of a University cellular telephone by an authorized user may be necessary to address a family crisis or urgent need and that such occasional personal use is conducive to promoting an efficient workforce.  Such occasional personal use is permitted if it is limited to such purposes, is minimal and incidental when compared to the business use of the cellular telephone, and does not result in any per-minute or per-item charges in excess of the authorized user’s calling plan allocation.

In the event of per-minute or per-item charges of personal or unauthorized use of a University cellular telephone, the authorized user must reimburse his or her department for these charges.  The reimbursement must be made in full during the billing cycle immediately following the billing cycle in which the charges were incurred.  Failure to make payment or repeatedly incurring charges resulting from personal or unauthorized use may result in forfeiture of the University cellular telephone and/or other disciplinary action, including termination of employment, as provided by University policy.  In addition, any unpaid charges may be withheld from an authorized user’s wages as provided by University policy.

All authorized users must be aware of state and municipal laws regarding the use of cellular telephones while driving.  In addition, use of cellular telephones while driving can cause a hazardous distraction, especially during adverse weather, heavy traffic, and/or limited visibility conditions, and should be avoided.

Users should contact Telecommunication to coordinate the repair and/or replacement of cellular telephone equipment.

Users of cellular services may be asked to re-submit justification on an annual basis.

Inappropriate use of cellular telephone features such as text messaging and camera capabilities is strictly prohibited and subject to disciplinary action including termination of employment as provided by University policy.

In the event of a disaster or emergency affecting the University, cellular telephones may be retrieved and redistributed to predefined areas.

To obtain a copy of the Cellular Service Request Form or additional information, visit the Telecommunication web site or call Wendy Stiteler at (205) 348-0541.