Asterisk handling a small business

Corey Edwards tensai at
Thu Apr 10 08:10:06 MDT 2014

On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 2:13 AM, Dan Egli <ddavidegli at> wrote:

> Here's how he and I have envisioned the whole setup (phone numbers bogus
> obviously):
> * 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.

Bad idea. If there's any VoIP in the fax call you *will* have trouble. Just
don't go there. Get an analog line from ma-bell and call it good. Or use
one of the various email to fax gateway providers.

> * 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.

That's all standard stuff for a PBX.

> 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.

I would do the same, but then I'm a VoIP professional. He needs to decide
whether his time is better invested running his business or running his
phones. Sometimes cash is tight and you do what you have to. There are
hosted PBX providers who will operate month-to-month, such as Jive which
was mentioned earlier.

> 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)?

It means you have an Internet line, whatever type you like, and then an IP
service that uses that line. Just like you can use Gmail with a non-Google
line you can have VoIP over another provider's circuit. Potentially you
could run into QoS issues, so there sometimes are advantages to sticking
with the same provider. If you go with a cable phone service, for example,
it's not technically using the same Internet circuit; they create a
separate virtual circuit with its own guaranteed bandwidth. But many have
done it, including me, with good success.


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