Use of 'free' conference-call services no longer free

October 23, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A recent rule change by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will result in a premium surcharge for the use of formerly free conference-call services. To avoid such charges, Penn State Enterprise Networking and Communication Services (ENCS) will begin blocking calls to known free conference-call services made from University telephone numbers on Nov. 1.

The rule change will only affect services accessed via a telephone call, including and It will not impact internet-based services like Skype.

Users also may incur unexpected charges due to the change if they access affected conference-call services from a personal device.

For an alternative audio-conferencing service, users should consider Zoom. Zoom is Penn State’s approved conferencing service, and is flexible, mobile and can accommodate small and large groups. The service also has video conferencing capability. To learn more, review the Zoom Quick Start Guide.

For technical assistance using Zoom or to report a technical issue, contact your local IT support or the IT Service Desk by phone at 814-865-4357, by email at, or via 24-hour chat at

Last Updated October 30, 2019