University policy addresses telephone number portability

June 17, 2004

A nationwide change regarding telephone number portability has prompted the University to develop its own policy on phone number portability.

As the technology boom transformed cell phones from a luxury to a near necessity, the University has been working for the past two months to create a policy that recognizes and responds to the change in telephone number portability. The reason behind the policy is "the uncertainty of where and how telephone calls will change over the next few years," according to Jeff Kuhns, senior director for consulting and support services in Information Technology Services.

"We simply don't know how fragmented or disruptive this is going to be to communications," Kuhns said. "We felt it was best to preserve the integrity of what was in place."

The University has approximately 2,300 cellular accounts, Kuhns said, adding that a study showed that about 90 percent of Penn State's student population has wireless devices.

Nationwide, about 60 percent of the population has cell phones. That translates to about 165 million cellular users, Kuhns added.

Basically, the new policy will keep traditional "wired" telephone numbers intact in University directories.

The policy is as follows:

-- Existing telephone numbers used with University office voice (land-line) systems may not be used on cellular telephones.

-- Cellular telphone numbers may not be moved onto University wired voice (land-line) systems.

-- Telephone numbers in use on University cellular telephones may be moved to another cellular carrier that provides service to the University or to a personal (non-University) cellular service with the approval of the department for the number involved.

-- Telephone numbers in use for personal (non-University) cellular service may be moved to the University cellular service with approval of the department head who has approved the Univeristy cellular service.

The policy, part of Policy BS19, can be found on the Web at

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Last Updated March 20, 2009