I’m the IT specialist for our small business and I’ve been charged with upgrading our old phone system to newer technology. I know very little about phone systems. Basically we have one phone number and four lines and four phones. I’m almost certain that this is an analog setup. From what I can see, from the phone box where the phone lines are coming in, there are 4 Cat5 cables running into our patch bay, then in each office, there is a Cat5 cable running from the wall into an analog phone, split into two RJ11 ends, each going into the phone (one into lines 1 and 2, the other going into lines 3 and 4).
We’ve recently purchased 12 IP based phones (Linksys SPA942). What we want is 8 lines and these 12 phones set up (although I think the Linksys phones only support 4 lines).
I’m not quite sure what my initial set up with Asterisk needs to be. Do we need to get 4 more lines from our phone company to have the 8 lines we want, or do we just go down to 1 line from our phone company and let Asterisk split this into 8 lines?
I understand that for my Asterisk system, I’ll need to get an interface card. If we just do the one line and let Asterisk handle splitting this up into 8 lines, is it just a matter of getting the phone cord from the phone box and plugging it into a modem on the Asterisk box?
I’ve been looking at the free Asterisk: The Future of Telephony book, but the chapter about preparing really only talks about the actual Asterisk system, and not the way my phone system is set up.
All in all, I’m really just looking for the best and most economical way to get what we’re looking for. If we need to switch from our analog phone lines to a VOIP solution and let Asterisk handle it, then that’s fine. I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty with setting up this Asterisk system, but I’m just not sure what needs to happen in order for me to begin.