Channel bank question

What are the limitations to a channel bank? My understanding at this point that if I want to connect a lot of standard analog phones (or POTS lines) to my Asterisk server, that the channel bank is my best bang for the buck?

Is it accurate that (provided that the bank is configured for FXO/FXS or both) that I can attach the phones or POTS lines to the channel bank without any other special hardware? (aside from the T1 card to interface it to the asterisk)

Can I use the same channel bank connected to an Asterisk server to handle both my POTS lines as well as my local analog extension and have Asterisk route between the two ‘sides’?

Should I concider VoIP gateway instead of channelbanks?

Channel bank is a pretty efficient way of doing it, and it works pretty well.

If your channel bank is so configured, you can attach phones and pots lines and have asterisk route between the two.

Check out the digium tdm2400 series telephony interface card, that may do what you want more easily. It’s an (up to) 24 channel zaptel analog interface card with an RJ21 (amphenol) connector. It takes up to 6 plug in modules, each of which will enable 4 channels for FXS (green module) or FXO (red module). You can also get an optional hardware echo canceller.