In the 1990s, telephone charges subsidized the cost of the rapidly evolving data network. In 2000, UCIT created a new rate model to separate telephone and data charges. Over the past decade as the cost of telecommunication services declined, additional services were funded using the recharge rates.
In 2009, the Academic Technology Planning Committee recommended that the university review its current policy for recharge services/rates as they apply to networking services. They further requested the development of a new model that increased access to network services while reducing the amount of administrative overhead in managing those services.
How does the previous IT chargeback model fall short of meeting the current administrative and academic needs of the institution?
- Colleges and departments face unprecedented budget pressures causing units to disconnect IT services. This undermines our true mission and at the same time creates a potential adverse impact to chargebacks for those still connected.
- The existing billing approach requires a fair amount of administrative and clerical overhead in colleges and departments.
- There is no allocation of student fees towards funding the primary recharge services of the network, wireless and student e-mail.
- UCIT provides a substantial subsidy from the last time we altered the model in 2000. This only serves to escalate the data chargeback for everyone.
- The current model inhibits keeping UC in a competitive position with other top research institutions. Wireless is the best example where UC’s current model peaked around 700 wireless access points 3 years ago. In comparison, Ohio State embarked on implementing 10,000 wireless access points back in 2006.
What did the committee recommend to resolve these shortfalls?
The committee recommended moving away from the traditional “metered way” of telecom chargeback to a bundled suite of communication services recovered via a full time equivalent (FTE) chargeback. To accomplish this the committee made three key recommendations:
- Recommend a revenue-neutral implementation through reallocations and central subsidy across the institution.
- Recommend the university subsidize the student expense in the model and over time consider transitioning this expense into the student’s ITIE fee via future increases.
- Recommend an effective and participative governance process to oversee the technology evolution and annual costs for the bundled suite of service