Hardware/layout question I'm new to this technology

I am looking to deploy a system where people from many different areas can phone in and get information from a menu system.

I think my options are as follows:

  1. let the people call local numbers to an office in their area with an * and have that computer get the data from the remote server.
    a) I think that each office would need a card to connect the phone lines to (4-8 lines per office would be enough)
    b) I think the digium cards for this would be roughly $1000
    c) I do not think there would be any other hardware required

2)provide toll free numbers for the people to call one remote * (I am less sure how this works)
a) what hardware would I need (assume <= 100 ppl calling at any given time). Can I get phone numbers from a provider that sends them through as voip to the *?

The first option seems pretty straight forward, and is acceptable, but requires a computer and phone lines in each location. The second one seems better, but I have no idea what is required to do this, or if it is possible.

Thanks for any answers.


There is no need to scatter Asterisk boxes around to allow users from different areas to call into an IVR as a local call. There are reasons you would want to do this, but unless your service area is very localized it would not be economical.

I would recommend using SIP trunking from a service provider. They will be able to offer you DIDs (telephone numbers) from a wide variety of areas and route all of the inbound traffic through their network to your server. The calls will appear local to your customers, but you will not need to have multiple servers scattered about.

You can easily find metered DID starting around $1.00 per month. Check with Vitelity or VT White.

Justin McAteer
Out of the Blocks Consulting, LLP