Is this Possible - Voip/POTS ntegration

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 :frowning: . 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.

Ok well im sure someone will come up with something better, however, if you have an ata… and wanan use your pots for local calls and voip for international calls, you should just setup an asterisk box using an old pc, and install a single fxo which is like 35 bucks online. you can setup the system to use the coip provider when dialling either a specific number or a specific Country code or a specific prefix such as 9 011 CC + Number.

and when you make regular national calls using 1+CC or just CC to go out through the POTS line using the FXO.

Once this is all setup its as transparent as it gets asuming you have an ata and if you setup a splitter on the fxo entrance you can have it so that it only picks up after X ammount of rings so you can still pickup through another phone, i didnt really understan much how you wired the house.

anyways i hope this helped and if you need extra help just holler.


I also should add that I have minimal Linux experience, but this is a good excuse to learn. I also need some hardware advice to implement this.

Thanks REEF,

I do have an old work station PC as a candidate, but it might be overkill for this application. I know that thin clients and single board PCs tend to be pricey, but might they be the way to go on this project?

On the network wiring; every service in the house was designed to run from the point of use to the basement: electricity, plumbing, telephone, steam heat, even the TV antenna on the roof. The concrete floors in the house were poured around conduit, and piping, and then the interior brick walls were built around the conduit - the average workman in 1931 simply did not have the means to cut holes in 4" thick concrete slabs. Because of this, I was able to run every individual CAT 5e cable from the LAN drop, back to the switch in the basement wiring closet (star or home run wiring). A wireless LAN was out of the question given the construction of the house.

Most homes back then had one telephone, and maybe one TV, so I was lucky that the owner built the house with a telephone line in every bedroom. But this also meant that I pretty much had to limit myself to running my cable in 1/2" or 3/4" metal EMT conduit for the original telephone and TV antenna. I could not run as many CAT 5e cables as I wanted, nor could I put them exactly where I wanted because of the limited area in the tubes. I actually over filled the conduit, but they were all short vertical runs with no bends, so it was not an issue. Because these conduits are buried in brick walls, they cannot be enlarged without busting open the walls to put in larger conduit. So there is no ethernet in the living room as an example, because the only conduit in the walls is for 120V outlets. That means no TV or telephone in the living room - people were expected to be hosts and entertain their guests back in the 1930s.