Initiate call from network, dial out over POTS line

Investigating this for a project.

We were discussing how to get notifications if all our Internet services (including our SIP connections) went offline. We have a FreePBX server on site. We have access to POTS lines.

The thought was that when it was detected that all Internet access was gone, some service or program could send a notification to the FreePBX server. We’d want the server to then dial one or more numbers.

Ideally, we could play our choice of recordings (“Internet down at Site A”). But, failing that, just getting a call from that POTS line would serve as sufficient notice.

We could connect a POTS line to the PBX and designate that calls should use that trunk (as the SIP lines will be down).

I’m confident I could initiate the call from the CLI. It’s injecting that into the CLI from a LAN connection that has me asking for advice.

Any thoughts? (Other than “buy an auto-dialer”?)

You can use a call file to place a call and play a message: Asterisk Call Files - Asterisk Documentation

An always-running script could monitor the Asterisk log for a trunk becoming unreachable (or other trigger condition as you desire) using
tail -f /var/log/asterisk/full
and create the call file when it detects trouble.

Another option would be to monitor Asterisk from another site with a reliable internet connection (such as a cloud server) and have it send an SMS or push notification when the failure condition is met.

Some trunking providers can send a notification when registration is lost.

There are several free and paid monitoring solutions compatible with Asterisk, including Asterisk monitoring and integration with Zabbix

Okay. So, you’re suggesting that the PBX host be the one to monitor the Internet? Yes, that could work. And I’ve been reading the other posts on the call files. Invoking them from the PBX host would be straightforward.

I’m wondering if there isn’t something with an IP interface that would let me send it commands and then it would dial through the PBX. Something along the lines of those paging interfaces - but running in the other direction.

To clarify, I’m not wanting to only monitor the PBX. This came up when we talked about losing our on-prem mail server because of Internet (or other) failure. Using email to send SMS notifications is great - until your mail server stops. So, we thought, why not use the POTS line for notification? And I wondered if we couldn’t capitalize on having the PBX already in place.

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