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Networking, Network Infrastructure Access Service, CER Keys

Technology Services manages keys and access to Communication Equipment Rooms on the Urbana campus. This article describes eligibility, the process to request a CER key, and the contact information for the CER Key administrators.

Technology Services at Illinois controls and provides access to physical network infrastructure locations on the Urbana campus, including Communication Equipment Rooms (CERs). 

About CER Keys

What is a CER Key?

A CER (Communications Equipment Room) key allows employees to access network closets and cabinets to perform their assigned job duties such as patching network jacks. CER Keys are restricted due to security and auditing requirements, and are issued solely by Technology Services.

Who is eligible to obtain a CER Key?

IT Pros, F&S, Contractors, and Technology Services employees are eligible to be issued a CER or network cabinet key to perform their assigned job duties; however, some restrictions may apply. Please see the "Requesting a CER Key" section of this page for information on requesting a CER Key.

What is the cost to obtain a CER Key?

There is no charge to obtain a CER Key for your unit. However, a CFOP is collected as part of the request process which will be charged the cost to re-key the CER in the event that the assigned CER key is lost. 

What are the guidelines for being issued a CER Key?

The following guidelines apply for any access of a Technology Services CER.

  1. Tours of the CERs are not allowed.
  2. Personnel accessing the CERs are only to touch equipment for which they have direct responsibility.
  3. Unless authorized to do so, personnel accessing the CERs are not to touch the generators, UPS units, A/C units, air handlers, breakers, or power distribution systems.
  4. To ensure security of the CERs, doors must not be propped open, unlocked/unlatched, or otherwise prevented from closing securely and locking.
  5. No food or drink is allowed inside of the CERs.
  6. Garbage, packaging material, leftover cable, and other leftover equipment or materials must be removed from the CERs and disposed of accordingly.
  7. No equipment other than network equipment managed by Technology Services may be installed within a CER without prior authorization.

I only need temporary or one-time access to a CER. Do I need a CER key?

If one-time access to a CER is needed, Technology Services can provide escorted access at no charge without issuing a CER key. Please contact the Technology Services Help Desk to request one-time access to a CER.

If there is a need for emergency access to a CER outside of normal business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday), please contact the Technology Services at 217-244-1000. A staff member from Technology Services Networking will be paged and dispatched to serve as an escort to the CER. There is a $100 charge for emergency access outside of business hours.

I am a unit facility manager. Can I request a CER key?

In most cases, Technology Services maintains full responsibility for all facilities and equipment within a CER including electrical and HVAC systems. Facility managers are not typically eligible to receive a CER key; however, there are some limited exceptions. Please contact us at if you are a facility manager requesting a CER key. 

How can F&S and contractors get CER Keys for project work?

F&S staff and contractors hired for temporary projects may need occasional "guest" access to the CERs. Prior approval is required before F&S staff and contractors will be allowed to gain access to a CER. The primary IT Pro for the building (or in the case of new construction, F&S Capital Projects) must complete the "Request for CER Access for F&S and/or Contractors" form. The completed form with authorized signatures should be returned to Technology Services via e-mail to If the key is not returned by the estimated project end date and no extension is requested, the door to the CER(s) will be re-keyed at the expense of the unit using the CFOP or F&S work order number provided. 

My IT department supports units in many buildings. Can I request a master key?

If your IT department supports one or more units across many buildings, Technology Services can work with you on a CER keying strategy. Please contact us at to discuss the issue of a unit CER master key. Please note that any cost to convert a CER to a unit master key will be the responsibility of the unit, and in the event a unit CER master key is lost the unit will be responsible for the cost to re-key all CERs covered by that key. All CER keys must be issued by Technology Services and keying by the unit is not permitted.

CER grandmaster keys are restricted and available only to a small number of employees whose assigned job duties require them. All requests for a CER grandmaster key must include a justification to be approved by the CER Key administrators.

What if I lose my CER key?

Lost CER keys must be reported to immediately to ensure the security of the CERs. CER Keys will not be replaced if lost without consultation with the CER Key administrators. 

Requesting a CER Key

The following files are available in fillable .PDF format. Please download the correct form for your situation and return it to us via e-mail at If your use case is not covered by any of the scenarios described, please contact the CER Key administrators. 

The left column contains various CER key and access scenarios, and the right column contains the appropriate form or contact information for that scenario.
If you are... Complete this form
Requesting one-time access to a CER E-mail to request one-time escorted access
An IT Pro Requesting a CER Key for your unit
A Technology Services Field Consultant Requesting a CER Key for your unit as a Field Consultant
An outside vendor, contractor, or F&S employee Requesting a CER Key for Contractors and F&S
A Technology Services Infrastructure employee Requesting a CER Grandmaster Key
Requesting access to a telecommunications node E-mail to begin the request process

Contact the CER Key Administrators

If you have additional questions or requests, you may contact the CER Key administrators at

KeywordsNetwork Infrastructure Access Service CER key keys access network closet cm cma it pro   Doc ID132770
OwnerNetworking N.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2023-11-14 10:46:43Updated2023-11-15 14:20:44
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
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