Need Advice on Non-Profit School Setup

Hey All,

I have been wanting to try out setting up Asterisk for some time now. I have tons of Linux experience but no PBX and a little VoiP experience. I am looking for advice on how to setup Asterisk for my kid’s school. They are a small non-profit and hence don’t have a ton of cash to spend on hardware.

They would need 1 phone per classroom and several for the office for a total of around 12. I imagine analog phones are cheaper, but dont know how these would connect to the asterisk server? They currently are using BellSouth for standard PSTN. From the documentation that I have read so far this requires a telephony card. Which would be best for this setup? If it is much simpler/cost effective, I may be able to get them to switch to VoiP. The only providers that offer LNP for our area are Lingo (no worky with asterisk) and Packet8 or AT&T CallVantage Service (not sure if it works).

I realise that there are probably several hundered different answers to this question, but I would appreciate any similar stories/experiences that can help me out here. There seem to be a ton of docs on how to setup linux (dont need) and asterisk, but not so much on how all the hardware pieces (telephony/analog phones) fit together.


There are several things you will need to consider.
If you use IP phones is their network going to be able to handel it? If you use a VOIP provider do you have enough internet bandwidth to Handel it and since its a school can they handel 911 calls for you.
What kind of wiring do you have in place
How many simultaneous calls do you need to handel at once

As far as analog phones any plain old telephone can work with asterisk but if you want to transfer calls and such it gets tricky. I use the Aastra 390 analog pohines that work fine there around $85.00

You could use a single T1 card (Te110p) $495 I think and buy a used adtran Channel bank (TA 750)usually can find them on ebay for around $400 dollars.
that would give you 24 ports for either phones or pots lines