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How do you connect a phone system to your IP network?

I am trying to set up VoIP and I'm not sure where to start. We have a T1 with 6 hunt lines coming through it. They connect to our internal phone system, a Panasonic DBS 824. We also have three stand alone analog lines. I also have a Cisco ATA 186 Analog telephone adapter. How do I connect the phone system to the network so that I can get a dial tone on the Cisco ATA 186 Adapter?

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The Panasonic DBS 824 is a traditional PBX system. It is not an IP PBX. You cannot connect a traditional PBX directly to the network. If you're looking to use VoIP inside your company, you should look into upgrading to an IP PBX such as the MX250 from Zultys. If you're looking to keep the Panasonic system and use proprietary digital handsets within the company and just want to connect to a VoIP service provider to get better calling rates, you will likely want to see if you can obtain and connect a couple analog FXO lines from your DBS 824 into the FXS interfaces of the Cisco ATA 186. Some service providers support the ATA 186 using the SIP protocol.

This was first published in November 2004

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