Forwarding "dialed" caller id info along with call

I am using FreePBX in a standalone classroom environment. If “Student1” places a call to the “Fire Dept”, I am forwarding that call to the instructor. Instead of the caller ID saying “Student1”, I want it to say “Fire Dept”. Same thing applies if they call another agency such as “Police Dept”. I want to forward that call to the Instructor and I want the caller ID to say “Police Dept”. Can this be done with FreePBX?



There are more than one way I could see of doing that…

I am however a little puzzled, in real life wouldn’t the number you want them to call for the Fire Dept and Police Dept be the same (911, 112 or something similar depending on where you are in the world)?

I don’t have access to my PBX right now to validate if there is an easier way but I would be tempted to create a ring group for the Fire Dept and another one for the Police Dept and you would put the instructor’s extension in the Extension List in each one.

You would then put “Fire Dept:” or “Police Dept:” in the CID Name Prefix of the ring groups…

This will actually prepend this to the caller ID which is probably close enough for your needs and has the advantage that you can also see what extension called the “Fire Dept” or “Police Dept”…

I don’t have access to my PBX right now to see if that could be done even simpler with a virtual extension (I don’t know if you can set a prefix for those). There are also more involved ways of doing this but this is hopefully close enough for you…

Good luck and have a nice day!


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Thank you for the quick response. Regarding the agencies such as Fire Dept and Police Dept, those were just examples. In our classrooms, the Instructors play the role many different agencies/offices that the student must interact with. I am able to get this to work partially using the prefixes for both Ring Groups and the “Follow Me” functions. Ring Groups work the best because they allow me to transfer the calls to the Instructor without it showing on the student phone. Meaning, if the student dials the Customer Support office, I use a ring group to send it to the Instructor and the Instructor knows they are playing the role of Customer Service and the Student’s Caller ID screen shows they are calling Customer Service; not the Instructor. Unfortunately, there are only 35 ring groups available (FreePBX software limitation) and I will need more than that. The “Follow Me” function works well for the Instructor because of the prefix BUT the Student’s phone recognizes the call was forwarded to the Instructor so instead of showing “Customer Service” on the Caller ID it says “Instructor”. Do you know of a way to disallow the “forwarded to” number to show up on the Caller ID?


You can use an alias for your caller id or to use a sip alias on your instructor’s extension.

You can also use an ip phone with several sip accounts for each department. That would be easier to configure.

Thank you,

Daniel Friedman
Trixton LTD.

Hi Billy!

I wasn’t aware of that limitation…

Another way you could do that but which would be a lot more involved is to create those agencies numbers as DIDs (ie usually phone numbers in our case). I could be wrong but I don’t expect this to have the same limitations…

Doing it that way would, once again, allow you to add a CID Name Prefix

You would create an inbound route for each one of them (or I guess you could create a “catch all” ANY/ANY route if the destination is always the same (like, for example, always the same instructor))…

The “magic” would be in the outbound route and trunk, you would create a loopback route which would have dial pattern entries for each of those agencies/offices.

That loopback route would use a loopback trunk which would be a custom trunk with a Custom Dial String of “Local/[email protected]” (or one of the contexts who is eventually redirected to it…).

I haven’t tried something that weird before but I do use a loopback trunk and route to be able to call my own phone numbers from the inside without having to leave my PBX so I expect it to work…

What you might lose is the possibility of having the caller see the name that matches the phone number of the agency they called, they might only see the “phone number” (which might not be a full one) they dialed… I guess having access to a phonebook (maybe even the Asterisk one but I cannot test it right now) might make this work too…

As I said I never tried something that weird but since I do use a variant of it I expect it to work… I would also be very surprised if it had the same limitations you saw for a ring group…

No and I searched for it and did not find anything…

Good luck and have a nice day!



Again you might have saved the day. When you stated that you were unaware of the Ring Group limitation, I went back to verify what I saw. As I was creating the Ring Groups, I was entering information into the description field. At the end of the field is saw “17/35”. I had already created approximately 17 Ring Groups, so I assumed this was number 17 out of a maximum 35. I was WRONG. That was simply the number of characters allowed in the field.

Hopefully there is no limitation on the number of Ring Groups because I am able to accomplish my objective by using them.

Thanks again,


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Hi Billy!

I even started searching for where this was documented… :laughing:

You are welcome!