Asterisk - Within a 28 School Division

Hi there, I am an information Systems Analyst for a school division in Alberta. I had an asterisk@home server running for quite sometime, and it worked very well. I had extensions running and used sip clients. We could save thousands of dollars with VOIP in our division.

I want to use Asterisk becasue of the stability and luck I have had with it, that being said, for home use I was just using a gateway service provider, for my DID and PSTN connectivity…my question is, we have our own phone infrastructure, and obviously I want to move this to the Asterisk PBX on one of our internal networks. I unsertand extension, and how to set up IP phones etc, and use them with Asterisk, what I do not undertstand is how I will interface this with our currently provider for PSTN, so that we can still call PSTN phones etc. Telus is our provider out here. Do I need an FXO, FXS card of some kind? This seems like what u wull need. Will Telus work with me? What are my choices? Is there other providers I can interact with so that i can still have regular PH numbers, and save money when calling long distance. Since I will basically be my own voip provider, is there other service providers I can caonnect with at an affodable price to bridge from an asterisk, to another asterisk box, and then call local?

Anyways, some insight would be great!

I would love to work with another school district on this, so that we could save money in different areas…but maybe there are other solutions to.

To connect your Asterisk server to the PSTN you need a TDM400 like card (if analog) or a ISDN one. Then on your Asterisk box you just need to define the calling rules - what goes through the PSTN and what goes through VoIP. The same applies to the incoming calls.
If there is another site / school with an Asterisk server that want’s to connect to yours, then it’s very simple with IAX2. The two schools define a rule for assigning extensions and both can dial to each other through extensions :smile:

You seems to suggest that you have some flexibility in selecting infrastructure providers. If cost savings is one of the primary goals, you may do the same for the district and consider using a volume VoIP provider to provide DID and PSTN gateway. You’ll need to justify this with long distance volume and cost savings.

Thank you for the information on the cards. Yes I have some say, as I have completed several projects in the past for the School District, and they are happy right now, ha ha ha.

A volume provider could be a costs savings, and more then likely would be, but quality is of the upmost importance, and I have had some problems with quality from 3rd party providers, that being said I am sure there are some good ones out there, or even local ones I do not know about, so I will do some research.

Of course I will do a business case, and cost analysis as well, but I know right off the bat we’ll save money using voip just internally, but eventually they will want to see a saving with out of domain calls as well, to different areas, but if we buy a large service package from an established VOIP gateway provider, I am sure we will have a LARGE cost savings still.

I will be starting my research soon.

Thanks for your help. If anyone knows a really EXCELLENT 3rd party VOIP provider for Alberta/canada who is established, afordable and can provide exellent VOIP codec quality, please let me know.

I don’t want a gateway middleman, I would be looking for someone who is established accross canada, that we could PSTN gateway through, and could offer us a contract and excellent package. As stated I will be doing my own research but any suggestions for providers are welcome, as there will always be people who know something or have connections that I do not have :smile:


Then your case is more complicated. I work out of a satellite office of a Fortune 100 IT company. When this office relocated, they went VoIP (with whichever provider). The first day the office opened, teleconferences (expectedly, there are tons of them) went to a halt when a silly network problem occurred. There was nobody else to blame but in-house networking people - or the lack thereof. (In-house doesn’t translate into quick resolution, either.) The cost was huge if you consider the number of people affected (remote participants of conferences included).

A school district may not rely on teleconferences that much. But devising backup solutions may not always be cheap. (As much as a glitch costs, my company apparently did not consider desk phones mission critical.)

Level 3 is a national provider in the U.S. (Yes, they are known for ISP business. I heard that they entered VoIP termination recently.) There are quite a few with their own network infrastructure here. But I don’t have much information about Canadian providers.

Here in Portugal the VoIP providers I know are mainly resellers of products from Voipcheap or similar.

Hi santosam,

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