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  OIT Home > Connect > UCSB Skype Policy
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UCSB Skype Policy

 

Skype is a voice-over-IP service, providing telephone-like service via the Internet. It is also promoted as supporting large file transfers and may offer other bandwidth-intensive services in the future. Optional paid service offerings support calls to and from the public switched telephone network.

Use of Skype had been prohibited on the UCSB network since it violated the UC Electronics Communications Policy (ECP) by requiring a contractual grant of campus network bandwidth beyond that allowed for incidental personal use. Recent updates to Skype have addressed this issue and enabled us to allow use of Skype at UCSB.

As of July 1, 2009, use of Skype is now permitted on the UCSB network, so long as use is consistent with university and departmental policy. On Microsoft Windows, we request that version 3.8 or higher be used, and configured with supernode disabled (see Configuring Skype below). Failure to disable supernode functions may result in network activity beyond the incidental personal use provisions of the Electronic Communications Policy, and supernode traffic may significantly degrade computer performance.

Use of Skype on all other platforms, including Mac OS-X and Linux, is allowed. However, when Skype releases a version that supports disabling supernode functions on these platforms, we request that users install that version and disable supernode functions. Skype states that bringing all platforms up to the same level of functionality as Windows is a goal, but they do not have a time frame for any releases.

Note that this discussion applies only to Skype; other VoIP products such as Wengo or Gizmo have been and continue to be allowed so long as their use is consistent with campus and departmental policies.

Configuring Skype

If you'd like to use Skype on a Windows computer, first download and install Skype. After Skype is successfully installed, download the configuration update and open the file.

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Double click the skype.reg file.

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When prompted to merge the Skype changes into your system, click Yes.

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When complete, click O.K

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When complete, reboot the computer and supernode functionality will be disabled.

NOTE: If Skype is reinstalled in the future, this configuration update should be reapplied.

Summary

  1. Use of Skype is allowed on the campus network, so long as use is consistent with university and departmental policy.
  2. On Microsoft Windows, we request that users install version 3.8 or higher and disable supernode functions. This avoids potential computer performance degradation and Electronic Communications Policy issues.
  3. When Skype releases a version on other platforms that supports disabling of supernode functions, we request that users install it and disable supernode functions.
  4. Use of other VoIP products remains allowed so long as use is consistent with university and departmental policy.
  5. Skype cannot provide your location information to emergency services like 911. Anyone electing to use VoIP service should consider retaining access to a landline or a mobile telephone, either of which can provide location information to emergency services.
  6. The content of this page is for informational purposes only, and does not imply an endorsement of this company, its products, or its services by the University of California.

KPS

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