Pricing Model Detail

The pricing model sets forth the methodology used to determine the charges assessed to the units. These charges represent each unit's share of the University network costs based on their share of the university's users of the network and utilization of the Internet.

The basis for this model is:

  • Costs should be allocated to units based upon the factors that drive those costs.
  • The architecture of the network should not be influenced by the model. That is, decisions on architecture should be made based on an overall assessment of relevant factors, not influenced by attempts to game the cost recovery mechanism.
  • The model and mechanisms should be as simple as practicable.
  • The base charge should recover full cost of operations, including provisions for capital improvements.
  • Substantial changes in a unit's fees should be predictable based on knowledge of the cost drivers and the units' own changes in behaviors and use.

The model has two components:

Component Frequency Fee Based On:
1) Core Network Rate Annual # of people in the unit who use the network
2) Internet Rate Annual # of people in the unit who use the network

The model will not impact other backbone fees such as one-time installation fees and on-going fees for off-campus circuits.

Core Network Rate Model

The Core Network rate covers operational cost and provision for capital improvements. It covers all capital improvement to the core routers, core sites, and first distribution layer switch in each building. Redundancy of the distribution switch hardware is largely at the building owner's discretion and is therefore funded directly by the local unit. The fee also covers operation and maintenance of both core and first distribution switches.

Most Core Rate costs are determined by the number of buildings, the geographic distribution of the buildings, the number of local networks and the number of people using the network. A small portion of the core cost is due to network utilization.

The basis for this model:

  • Encourages effective network architecture since it is based on users rather than architectural components such as a "router port"
  • Drives cost based on the number of network users and access vs. utilization 
  • Remains independent of the number of locations a unit occupies
  • Enables everyone to take full advantage of core network improvements
Population Weight
Unit Faculty and Staff

1

Michigan Medicine n/a
Non Med Student 0.2
Med Student 0.05
Student in Residence Halls 0.67
Northwood Housing Contract 1

The cost allocation model incorporates weighted counts of faculty and staff who access the network, occupants of the residence halls, and all registered students.

  • Faculty and staff are assigned to units based on appointments
  • Students are assigned to units based on registration
  • Residence hall occupants are assigned to University Housing
  • Counts for individuals with more than one appointment are split among the appointing units
  • Counts for students with more than one unit of registration are split among those units
  • To make these counts, the number of users in each category is determined and the costs are then allocated

Users are determined to have full access to the network and be someone:

  • whose unit attaches their building to the Core Network
  • who is able to attach a device to the network
  • who may have a device attached 24 hours per day, every day
  • who uses the network.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty, staff, and temporary staff members from the previous fiscal year who meet the user criteria are assigned a weight. They are determined by log files captured in the fall which count:

  • Uniqnames that are in use
  • Windows Active Directory current authorized users

Headcount is determined as follows. ITS works with unit management to resolve any anomalies.

  • Regular faculty and staff are identified by matching uniqnames in use against the HR dataset in the central warehouse to acquire appointment information as of November 1, of the current year.
  • Temporary staff are those who were appointed on November 1st of the current year.
  • Students who are employed by the University are excluded from the counts.
  • Faculty and staff (not FTE) counts as one.
  • Faculty and staff appointed in more than one unit are split evenly among appointing units.
  • Multiple appointments in the same unit count as one appointment.
  • Only paid appointments are counted unless a person only has unfunded appointments; that person is then divided among the unfunded appointments.
  • Regular appointments take priority over temporary appointments.

Students

All students benefit from a number of on-campus services including:

  1. Computing Labs: ITS provides computer labs across campus in study lounges, dining areas, and collaboration and study spaces for students.
  2. Public Access Ports: Public computing labs provide ports which enable wired connections to the network.
  3. Wireless: ITS provides wall to wall, basement to penthouse WiFi access in most campus locations.
  4. Computer Classrooms: Some schools have computerized classrooms which are distinct from computing labs.

Headcount is determined as follows and attributed to units:

  • Student counts are assigned a fractional weight since their access is assumed to be more limited than that of faculty or staff. 
  • In general, students are assigned a "weight" of 20%. 
  • Students are assigned by unit of registration for each term in which they are registered. 
  • Students registered with multiple units are split among them.

Michigan Medicine manages the Medical School network, which provides the primary means of network access for Medical School students.

  • Students in the Medical School also take advantage of Campus Computing Sites and MWireless which are attached to UMnet, but no Medical School networks are attached to the UMnet core. 
  • Medical School students are assigned a "weight" of 5%.

Students in Residence Halls & Northwood

Students with devices on the Residence Hall network (ResNet) have dedicated, consistent access to the network. Devices can be used 24 hours per day to access academic and recreational resources. ResNet makes effective use of the university network to connect the Residence Halls to each other and to the Internet. 

Headcount is determined as follows and attributed to University Housing:

  • Residence Hall occupants are assigned a weight of 100%. 
  • Because the connection is only available to the student eight months out of the year this is multiplied by 2/3.
  • Students signed up for ResNet will therefore be given a weight of 8/12 or 66.6%.

Students living in Northwood Apartments receive cable modem lines and include the equivalent charge of 100% of a Network User. This service provides a speed of 20–100Mbps but utilization is constant and the administration overhead is high.

Groups with an Agency Relationship

These groups will be charged in one of two ways depending on how they are attached to the university network.

  1. Agencies attached to a U-M unit's network: Staff in these agencies use the network in much the same fashion as faculty and staff. Headcount is determined as follows:
    1. Each individual at the agency will be counted as one Network User. 
    2. The unit should ask how many people are at that location and bill them appropriately. 
    3. The unit will determine if this is accurate by the number of IP addresses in use.
    4. The resulting counts will be attributed to either:
      1. The unit, in which case the unit will need to charge the agency.
      2. ITS, in which case the agency will be charged by ITS. 
  2. Agencies that have a network attached to UMnet: Staff in these agencies may use the network differently than faculty and staff. Headcount is determined as follows and charged directly to the agency:
    1. Agencies with their own router port they will be charged rates comparable to Merit access rates as roughly determined by the following formula:
      1. University price = (Merit price / Merit circuit speed) * (U-M port speed / 2) + (Internet Utilization Fee)
      2. Therefore, a 10Gbps router port will cost roughly $25,000/year, plus Internet Utilization Fee.
      3. The university provides certain attachment speeds: (e.g., 1Gbps, 10Gbps, and 40Gbps).
      4. Merit provides other speeds.

Internet Rate Model

The basis for this model is:

  1. Costs should be allocated to units based upon the factors that drive those costs.
  2. Substantial changes in a unit's fees should be predictable based on knowledge of the cost drivers and the unit's own changes in behaviors and use.
  3. The model should not be influenced by architecture and administration of the network.
  4. The model and mechanisms should be as simple as possible.
  5. The charge should recover full cost of operations, including capital improvements.

Internet Access Fee

Industry typically charges for Internet access based on utilization with price and performance increase occurring in a step function. On campus, individual unit needs vary, but collectively, the university’s utilization is well above normal industry scale. The university model allocates cost on a weighted number of users of the network by headcount. There is little cost for additional utilization, making it the most cost-effective for all units to use the same Internet attachment. This is effective because it:

  • Encourages effective network architecture since it is based on users rather than an architectural artifact such as to which network a user is attached.
  • Applies a collective utilization cost driver rather than unit utilization.
  • Does not allow one unit’s charges to be affected by another unit’s utilization.
  • Enables everyone to take full advantage of Internet network improvements.

Weighting

The allocation model incorporates weighted counts of various network users, including students. A "Network User" with a weight of 1 is defined as someone who has full access to the network during the business day (e.g., faculty, staff, or student/faculty/staff living in a campus Residence Hall or Northwood). Therefore, it is possible for one individual to be allocated a total weight of 2. More specifically, a "Network User" with a weight of 1 is defined as someone:

  • Whose non-Health System unit attaches their building networks to UMnet in Ann Arbor.
  • Who is able to attach a device to the network
  • Who may have a device attached during business hours or in their residence, and
  • Who is a "user" of a U-M unit network.
  • The Residence Hall user weight of one is multiplied by 8/12 to reflect the service is only of value to student residents for eight months.

Because Michigan Medicine (including the Medical School) has different business drivers than the academic side of the university and has its own network, Michigan Medicine is charged for Internet service based on utilization. Outside organizations such as Google who use the university Internet will also be charged based on utilization.

 Population Weight Utilization
Unit Faculty and Staff 1
Michigan Medicine Utilization
Non Med Student 0.2
Med Student 0.2
Student in Residence Halls 0.67
Northwood Housing Contract 1

Regular Model Evaluation

Campus must continue to monitor utilization, encourage responsible use and recommend model changes in the future if needed.

Waves

In addition to regular Internet and Internet2 uses, the MiLR infrastructure U-M has makes fiber wavelengths, or waves, to Chicago available. With current technology the waves provide 10Gbps, 40Gbps, and 100Gbps "circuits." Note that this circuit is not attached to a network at either end. This capability can be extremely useful to researchers. Those U-M units that participate in the headcount model may acquire waves for a monthly charge equal to incremental cost. Those U-M units acquiring Internet service based on utilization may acquire waves for a monthly charge equal to average cost.