Asterisk handling a small business

Dan Egli ddavidegli at
Thu Apr 10 02:13:45 MDT 2014

On April 8, 2014, Chris Wood wrote:

> Fax can be obnoxious with VOIP. I would recommend getting a copper

> line from the local telco. Maybe someone on the list has the magic

> sauce to make fax easy on voip.

I hadn't planned on recommending a digital or IP fax setup. In fact, what I
did tell him before I asked the questions is that for Fax he'd probably
want to get a standard fax machine and hook it into an Analog Telephone
Adapter. Then configure the phone switch software (Asterisk was my first
thought, but I admit I had forgotten about FreeSwitch) so that the fax's
extension is connected to it's own DID #, not the DID for the rest of the
office. While I admit the fax-to-email idea is interesting, I don't think
there will be enough demand for something like that. Not how it is
described to me, anyway. With maybe 15 employees, I'd say the odds are good
that the fax machine will remain idle much of the time.

Here's how he and I have envisioned the whole setup (phone numbers bogus

* External person sends a fax to 435-555-7002. Asterisk(FreeSwitch)
receives the call on that trunk, and forwards to IP Ata at
that IP converts signal to POTS style analog phone signal and sends to Fax
machine, which receives the fax.

* Company employee B sends a fax to 435-555-9751. ATA converts to digital
and Switch SFW sends out on 435-555-7002 trunk so that this phone # shows
on caller ID.

* Company Employee G calls Company X at 801-555-9984 from his desk. Caller
ID shows that call coming from 435-555-7001.

* Spouse of Employee D calls them at work. They dial 435-555-7001, and get
provided PBX/Exchange menu, and dial ext. 104 to get Employee D.

* Employee F calls boss to indicate they're sick and won't make it in to
work. They dial 435-555-7001, and enter extension 101. Boss isn't at their
desk or is on the phone, so they get boss's voice mail and leave message to
indicate that they're sick and can't make it in to work. Boss can retrieve
this message via his handset later.

I've heard of hosted setups, but this guy wants to do it himself. That
makes a bit of sense really, because he doesn't know how long it's going to
grow his company and he doesn't want to get locked into a contract and then
have six months left on the contract when he's ready to hire more
employees, but can't add extensions to the PBX for them. I can't really
blame him on that. Especially when he might at times hire temp employees.
They'd need their own extension when they're there, but those extensions
would only be for a few months.

The information provided is helpful. Thank you very much. One question
though. I'm sure he'll ask it, too. You state that the SIP service can be
purchased separate from the actual internet account. Does that mean
actually having multiple IP trunks coming into the building (i.e. Telco's
T1 containing 16 phone lines hits, and then Internet Provider's fat pipe
hits next to it)? Or would he simply get a large inet pipe with dedicated
IPs and tell his SIP provider to route all the call information to his
particular IP (i.e. for example)? Anyone have any experience
with good IP and/or SIP providers in either the St. George area or possibly
even in the Provo area? He just barely told me today that he's actually
thinking about setting up in Provo vs. St. George, but hasn't decided
exactly where yet. Oh well, it's his company. He can set it up where he
wants. :)

Thanks again all! This helps a LOT!

--- Dan

On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 4:21 AM, Corey Edwards <tensai at> wrote:

> On Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 3:28 PM, Steve Meyers <steve at> wrote:
> > On 4/9/14 2:46 PM, Corey Edwards wrote:
> >
> >> Faxing only works on the legacy PSTN. Full stop. Either outsource to a
> fax
> >> provider or get a copper line. Save your own sanity. Seriously, I can't
> >> overstate this enough. Faxing should die a violent death.
> >>
> >
> > I completely agree, having spent far too much time trying to get it to
> > work.  And our SIP provider swore that they supported T.38!
> >
> They all will, but I have yet to find 2 T.38 implementations that work
> together reliably. Nice in theory, not so much in practice.
> Corey
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