Teachers College
Columbia University

Network and Communications Equipment

A. Reason for the Policy - Teachers College’s network and computing technology provides information, data, and communication services. TC’s Computing and Information Services (CIS) is responsible for maintaining and supporting the TC campus network infrastructure, and overall operations and security of the College’s networks. To ensure proper operation, support, and security of the College’s networks, CIS must maintain the ability to configure and monitor all network, communications, and telecommunications related equipment and devices.


B. Responsible University Office & Officer - The Office of Computing and Information Services (CIS) is responsible for the maintenance ofthis policy, and for responding to questions regarding this policy. The responsible official is V. Ena Haines, Director of Information Technology.


C. Policy - This policy applies to all communications cabling, equipment and infrastructure devices,including but not limited to the following: telecommunications switches, data networkingswitches and routers, wireless access points, cellular distributed antenna systems, cellularrepeaters and/or bi-directional amplifiers, cellular macro sites, cable and satellite televisionreception and distribution equipment.


Any and all communications cabling shall be installed and maintained by CIS. This includes any permanent cabling and/or cabling between workspaces and rooms intended to be used for voice and data networking or other communications. Structured cabling systems serve to hinder physical compromises of cabling through the use of enclosed pathways and secure cable termination facilities. Teachers College uses modern cabling systems and adheres to installation specifications to ensure maximum performance and minimum disruption due to compromised system integrity. The College designs cabling configuration to maximize performance and reliability.


All routers on the campus network shall be installed and maintained by CIS. Routers serve to segment networks and enforce security policies. Routers may also obscure network devices that are part of the campus network. Therefore, it is necessary for CIS to maintain routers because of inherent responsibility to provide overall network operation, support, and security.


All network communications switches (e.g., Ethernet switches) on the campus network shall beinstalled and maintained by CIS. Switches serve to move communications traffic between various network endpoints while segmenting networks and enforcing security policies. Many switches provide a means to tap into communications traffic, which provides a malicioususer with a potential method to compromise data security.
All Wireless Access Point (WAPs) and other non-client devices (e.g., repeaters) on the campusnetwork shall be installed and maintained by CIS serve to move communications traffic between various network endpoints while segmenting networks and enforcing security policies. Many WAPs combine features of routers and switches, and the shared nature of wireless communications makes them inherently insecure without proper configuration and use of strong encryption. Due to the shared nature of wireless communications, deployment of WAPs must also be coordinated in order to prevent harmful interference.


All telecommunications switches (e.g., PBXes) on the campus shall be installed and maintainedby CIS. Telecommunications switches serve to move voice communications traffic between various network endpoints while enforcing security policies. Many telecommunications switches provide a means to tap into communications traffic, which provides a malicious user with a potential method to compromise data security. Telecommunications switches are also subject to regulatory requirements regarding emergency calling and law enforcement communications intercepts.


Exception: Residents of the College’s residence halls are permitted to install personally owned wireless access points. However, if a device is found to interfere with the campus data network, CIS may block its connectivity. In such a situation, CIS will make an effort to notify the resident whether it may be reconnected when properly configured.  Maintenance of personal devices is the responsibility of the individual.
All cellular telephone (voice and data) communications infrastructure cabling, antennas, andequipment shall be installed and maintained by CIS. The cellular infrastructure(e.g., distributed antenna systems, bi-directional amplifiers) assures reliable mobile voice anddata communications and is subject to regulatory requirements including emergency calling andemergency location services. The College relies on cellular services for emergency notification (“reverse 911”) of the College population. Cellular wireless services must be coordinated so as not to cause or be subject to harmful interference and to comply with applicable regulations.


All cable and satellite television infrastructure cabling, antennas and equipment shall be installedand maintained by CIS. The College standards ensure that antennas, cables and equipment installed for cable and satellite television are installed safely and without causing damage or unsightly alterations to the College’s buildings. Central administration of all campus routers, switches, WAPs and other non-client devices ensures proper implementation of configurations and security policies and minimizes the risk of data security compromise.


The College uses enterprise-grade routers, switches, and wireless systems that provideperformance, scalability, and availability. CIS staff continuously monitors the utilization and health of all network components and security incidents on a 24x7x365 basis, and responds to address problems and abnormal situations.

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