[HELP] Three Simple Questions (really simple)

We recently ordered an intergrated T1 (NON-PRI) from Xspedius in Houston.
It’s their Complete Dynamic solution, with 4 voice lines and 512Kbps data.
This will be replacing our current DSL service & 3 POTS lines.

The installation engineer informed me they will be dropping an Adtran 608 on the premises to handle CSU/DSU.

I already have a box running Asterisk in our network and we are able to communicate internally (NOT through the PSTN) using softphones. However we have no other cards aside from the network card in the machine right now.

We would like to purchase a few ATA devices so we can use our current phones OR purchase hard-phones such as BudgetTone or similar.

My assumptions: I will need to purchase a single 1-port T1 card and a single 4 Port FXO card to finish the job and configure them when the T1 is installed. (I might be very wrong as I’ve been reading the WIKI and forums alot lately and might be confused on some points)

The first question is: Are my assumptions correct.
If not, what am I missing from this puzzle or what exactly do I need.

Second question: This is probably more important than the first. Do we need a SIP/VOIP provider such as Vonage/Broadvoice? (I don’ t think we do as we are paying phone service to Xspedius) However I’m a bit lost on what needs to be configured on our side to assign phone numbers and the like if all we need is a T1 card to interface with the Adtran router, if that is correct.

Final question: The telco is asking us if we know how to punchdown our service block. I am assuming this is for analog service tied to the T1. I am a bit lost on this, however we will probably need non-Asterisk service until it’s all up and running. So how do we do this??

I’ve been reading through the forums but I wanted to make sure I was on the right track. Thanks for your help guys!

If you T1 is going to carry voice AND data services, you will need a CSU/DSU that can do something called “drop and insert”. Not all do this. Be sure to check.

Essentially, the first four voice channels, and the 512K data block are separated (that’s the drop part). Then, the bits they carry are added to a new data stream that will build out to a T1 again (that’s the insert part). The extra channels that make it a T1 data stream are just to make sure that the signals can be found in the right time slot at all the points necessary. (And to make it communicate with standard T1 interfaces.)

What you’ll get from that is two connections. Both will LOOK like individual T1’s, but one will contain your data and one will contain your voice services. The drop and insert CSU/DSU will seperate the signals into individual T1 streams, and combine the individual streams back into a single T1 for you.

You’ll only need a T1 card to connect this to an Asterisk box. You just Tell the Asterisk system taht you have a T1 but only the first 4 ports are active. You’ll need the 4 port FXO card if you want to include your current analog lines, but if your intention is to get rid of them, you won’t need it.

You don’t need a VOIP provider to use Asterisk with standard T1 service. Just pretend it’s a regular everyday PBX and you’ll be fine. Later, if you feel you want to, you can add a VOIP provider to help reduce the phone bills.

If you have no experience installing equipment like that, I’d hire a good telecom/data installer. Your telco can do it for you, but they only go so far. Generally up to the MPOE. (Minimum Point Of Entry to your network or building.) After that, it’s up to you to provide the connectivity and configuration.

I don’t know any installers in Houston. (Boston/New York, I could help but not Houston.) I assume a quick Google search should show you a few.