I’m still researching what it will take to get to a working Asterisk setup that can handle in/outbound calls. My first implementation would be for learning/testing and casual use.
Given that, I contracted sticker shock when I saw that the smallest-capacity analog card with FXO and FXS modules could cost up to around $600.
That was almost enough to close the door right there.
Then I remembered from the Say-Hello-To-Asterisk tutorial at Digium that a PC doesn’t need any additional hardware at all for a pure IP implementation.
My current understanding is that if I had a VOIP provider that supports Asterisk (what determines that?), then I could have multiple concurrent phone calls (there was a term for that – concurrent sessions?) to the extent supported by my broadband bandwidth.
But I also thought I read somewhere that all I really needed was a DID provider and my existing broadband connection. And there seemed to be some information indicating that I could get a free DID.
So perhaps I can get to a working system that handles in/out calls with a softphone, a free DID, and my existing DSL connection?