Is there a relatively simple and inexpensive means to combine POTS phone lines and VOIP on the same line so an analog phone can take advantage of both systems?
Objective: I want to implement a system that transparently and automatically selects VOIP for international and long distance calls, and the analog line for local calls. The idea is to take advantage of VoIP cost savings, but to also use the robustness of the analog line in a 911 situation. I want all incoming calls to flow over the analog system.
Background: I ran CAT 5e throughout my home (Home run wiring, including the 2 phone lines), and subscribed for a paid VoIP through Earthlink, which works well for calling relatives overseas (my mother in law refuses to touch a computer). My plan was to leave line 1 as the hookup to the local Bell, and line 2 as the VOIP line, which taps into a Linksys analog adapter in the wiring closet.
I was not able to run two phone lines to every room because the house was built like a fortress in 1931 with brick walls and poured concrete slab over steel I-beam floors (!!!). I was very lucky in that the builders used an early form of EMT conduit for the TV antenna runs and for the telephone line runs, which were all straight drops to the basement (star wiring in 1931). As this is a historical home, we have been very selective about making technology about convenience, rather than a focal point in the home. We are happy with the aesthetics of our current phones and would prefer to invest in the wiring closet instead of in the handsets.
Issues: Earthlink VoIP service, and both phone lines work as planned, but it is cheesy that not every phone in the house has long distance capability over VoIP. My system is also cumbersome in that it is easy to make an international call and forget to select the VoIP line, which will please Ma Bell to no end . The analog adapter cannot ring all of the phones on the VoIP line, which really is not an issue, as I do not plan on giving out the VoIP number; it is just a cost savings outgoing call service.