ubercombatwombat is looking for a bit of advice: "On the 9th of November, I have a meeting to discuss an Asterisk based phone system for a new elementary school. I am the network admin for the district. Currently, we are migrating from a T-1 based Nortel (option 61, 2 x option 11 and 7 x Norstar 8x32's, for those who care) to 1GB data fiber and a 2nd pair per site — to allow simple copper-to-fiber for the split T-1/Norstar's. We also just got a 10MB (scalable to 100MB) connect to the Internet. I can keep the VoIP basically on a separate network if need be as well.
What do I install? Are there Asterisk vendors that are available and have enough experience?"
"The hardware support we can handle just fine, it's the software that's the big issue. One thing to keep in mind is that E911 is priority one for any brand or type. No exceptions. Other than that one thing, the field is fairly open.
I see two possibilities:
- A Cisco system or Shortel system — education budgets vary wildly from year to year and recurring cost have to be kept down.
- Hybrid of Cisco, Snom, or Polycom handsets with a custom Asterisk box with good third-party support. I see a few options such as Fonality or Digium. If anyone is aware of online options with good service, please suggest them.
Trixbox may or may not be what I use. I have had systems going 24/7 for over a year and am very happy, but the product's future is unclear just now.
So, what and who? I won't go there without third-party support. What suggestions can Slashdot offer me?"