Personal Communication Devices

Policy Information
Policy TitlePersonal Communication Devices
Responsible OfficeTelecommunications
Policy TypeFacilities and Property
Policy Number413
Last Revision Date1/31/2023

Policy Statement

Binghamton University recognizes that the performance of certain job responsibilities may be enhanced by the use of various communication tools and related services. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines to departments regarding eligibility and authorization procedures for the issuance of personal communication devices to employees who have a valid business need.


An employee is only eligible for a University-owned device if they 1) are an employee of the University or its affiliated organizations (Research Foundation or Binghamton Foundation), full or part-time and 2) has a valid business need for a personal communication device.

"Valid business need" is defined as:

The need to be readily accessible for contact with the public or with university faculty, staff, or students, coupled with the impracticability of a regular land-line telephone for required or essential business communication needs due to:

  • Frequent travel, working temporarily at a remote location, etc.; OR
  • The need to receive or initiate communication in emergency or time sensitive situations; OR
  • The need to be accessible and available during non-business hours or by electronic means.

Authorization must be given by the person's immediate supervisor and in accordance with the policies individual departments may establish. Appendix "A" must be read and signed by the authorizing individual and the employee who is assigned the University-issued personal communication device.

All University authorized personal communication devices must contract through the University's Telecommunications Office for these services. Billing for monthly services will be issued as a recharge from the University's Telecommunications Office to the appropriate billing account as indicated in Appendix "A." Payments will no longer be authorized to employees or vendors via the P-Card or vouchers.

Individuals and Departments are advised that additional charges for data, texting and call usage are incurred while traveling internationally. If incurred, Departments are responsible for payment of these charges via the appropriate billing account that has been provided. If the employee is required to be reachable/communicate via their personal communications device while traveling internationally, temporary international cellular plans are available that assist with cost reduction. Please contact the Telecommunications Business Office at least 5 days before your scheduled trip for more information.

Employees may attach self provided wearable technologies to their University mobile account. The service fee for the wearable device will be billed directly to the employee and requires that one-year of service be paid up front by the employee.

Since monthly service plans and costs vary, Telecommunications will advise individuals on monthly plan options to assure that the monthly plan chosen is the most cost efficient plan for the University, based upon the business need of the employee. The Department will review the need for individual personal communication devices, the appropriate level of equipment to be provided for business use, ensure the plan is appropriate for the employee, and verify costs charged. The employee may request a higher level of equipment and if allowed by the Supervisor must reimburse the University for the difference in acquisition cost.

State law forbids employees from abusing the tools provided to them by the State through excessive personal use. The University recognizes that employees may use their University-owned personal communication device for occasional personal use as long as it is not unreasonable. Employees must note that the University reserves the right to investigate, retrieve, and read any communication or data composed, transmitted, or received through voice services, online connections, and/or stored on its servers and/or property, without further notice to employees, to the maximum extent permissible by law. Employees must also abide by the University's Acceptable Use Policy, located on the ITS website.

Equipment purchased through Telecom is the property of Binghamton University, and that it is expected that this equipment will be in the possession of the employee at all times and be functional during the employee's business day. Employees must take all necessary measures to protect this equipment from theft or damage. Due to the risks associated with sensitive information which could potentially be easily accessible on lost or stolen devices, employees are required to utilize password protection features to insure security of University data.

When the employee upgrades the phone, leaves the University, or will no longer be using the phone, the old phone may 1) be redeployed to another employee in the department or 2) be deactivated and held by the department head to serve as a backup for a lost or broken phone. If the department cannot identify a business need for the old cell phone, the device must be returned to Telecommunications. Re: Management Procedure Policy Number: 302 Recycling/Disposing of Computer Equipment and Cellular Devices


  • Personal Communication Device - Refers to devices that receive and/or send transmission using wireless technology such as cellular or radio frequency (RF) signaling. These include, but are not limited to, cellular or PCS phones, Blackberries, I-Phones, I-pads, personal digital assistants with connectivity, two-way radios, and pagers.
  • The Department - Refers to the University department that authorized and procured the mobile device for the Faculty or Staff member, typically the department to which the Faculty or Staff member belongs.