Controlling Public Space Phone Access

To the extent practical, good design suggests that phones have only the minimum calling privileges necessary. Consider how you might want to configure a lobby phone. Depending upon the intended usage, you could set it as Private Line Automatic Ringdown (PLAR) to a receptionist or operator who could then place the call on behalf of the user. Or maybe you set up the lobby with a calling search space (CSS) that permits calls to internal, local, and perhaps toll-free numbers. 

Conference room phones on the other hand get a bit more involved. In one sense, they are public space phones and unauthorized usage can be a concern. On the other hand, if calling privileges are too tightly restricted you run the risk of impeding the users. There is a solution which might be worth considering, and that is using Forced Authorization Codes (FACs).

On the surface, setting up FACs would seem simple.

  1. Create the User List: You begin by making a list of all users. Assign users a code (maybe their employee number) and an authorization level. Unless you have a co-worker to whom you wish to delegate a mind numbing task, I’d suggest using the Bulk Administration Tool in CUCM to upload these codes into the system. If you’re creative, you might be able to get your existing HR database to output a CSV file for this purpose to further automate things.
  2. Edit the Affected Route Patterns: Check the box for “Require Forced Authorization Code” and enter the minimum required authorization level.

Well that’s the end of the easy stuff.

If you have a single-site deployment using traditional class of service, then you run the risk of inadvertently requiring a FAC for all calls, not just those placed from the conference room phones. To work around this, you’d use CSS and partition:

  1. Create a partition called Conf_Room_PSTN_Pt and a CSS named Conf_Room_PSTN_CSS which references that partition
  2. Create two new route patterns – one for long distance and another for international patterns – ensure the FAC box is checked, and place them into the new partition
  3. Set the CSS on the affected phones

Many people reading this blog though, have multi-site deployments and/or are using the Line-Device Approach to CSSs. The basic premise remains the same, it’s just the design and layout of the partitions and CSSs which needs to be adjusted. For the line device approach, you might create a dedicated “FAC_PSTN_Pt” and a new device-level CSS which references it.

Author: Bob Long

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