Help Me Replace My Telco Service

I’m trying to ditch my home phone service and setup Asterisk in it’s place. I’ve found plenty of tutorials showing how to install Asterisk on a Linux box. However I don’t understand what to do beyond that. I’m sure you need some sort of equipment, the computer has to plug into some hardware so that it can interface with RJ11 home phones. Is that it? I’ve heard several other people saying I need to get some phone service from my local provider, it’s only a few bucks a month. I’m just confused on the details and on the concepts at really high level. I’m a pretty technical person, I’ve my A+ and Network+, I work in the tech field. I understand SIP, but Asterisk has always been voodoo to me. As naive as it sounds I want to plug my phone into my computer and make phone calls :wink: But why cut Magic Jack and Oooma in on the money when I can do it myself and have WAY more control and options. I’m hoping someone can help me or link me to some very granular how to’s (that aren’t terribly outdated). I would really love to learn, thanks.

At the end every asterisk installation need a telco provider in order to make calls to the PSTN. So to connect a provider with your asterisk box you have many options:

[ul]Digital Cards in order to connect E1/T1/BRI this is used for large installations.
Analog Cards in order to connect FXO(Line phones) or FXS(phones) this is a very common solution to use your house phone line
SIP Providers, you buy a VoIP line, you only need a decent internet connect in order to make good quality calls.
Gateways(external equipment) that conver fxo to sip, or fxs to sip, or digital to sip signalling.[/ul]

For very accurate information read the bible:

Depending on your need, you can explore option of IP Phones, Softphones for Laptops/Desktop (Many freeware available), ATA Boxes to client side equipments/ to receive calls

This is the part I’m not sure about.

So I setup Asterisk on a computer, I install say, then I contact my telco provider and I’m good?

Do I just call Verizon? I just don’t know what to ask for, phone service, a phone number. I thought I was connecting my phone to my internet to get away from the telco. What are they providing me?

For that card You need 3 ANALOG LINES(the old and common lines used in a normal house) & 1 normal phone(analog phone, common house phone).

In the real world, you cannot not have a Telco. That telco may be a traditional copper wires analogue one, or it may be a SIP ITSP, but you you still need one as you need to be able to call people who are on normal phone numbers and they need to be able to call you.

SIP itself is capable of bypassing that,when talking to other SIP phones, also set to bypass. However hardly anyone does that because of the above reasons, and because they would be hit by large volumes of calls from people trying to get to a Telco via the SIP PABX, and let the PABX owner pay for their calls. (Although that is the current dominant abuse, if the whole world went to native SIP telephony, there would be big junk call problems.)