Need advice with setting up CenturyLink SIP trunk

I have set up the SIPStation free trials with FreePBX, and it is easy and painless. My local telco is CenturyLink and they want to run fiber to my building. One option is to convert my analog POTS service to SIP traffic. The tech is telling me that he can provide either “native SIP” or he can install a box and provide SIP to PRI. I know that if he provides me PRI, then I have to swap out my analog card for a PRI card. I asked him if SIP traffic just comes over my Internet connection, and he told me that if they provide “native SIP” then I need a Session Border Controller. Doesn’t FreePBX handle this internally? It does with SIPStation. What do I need to do here?

It’s just how telco’s do it. When they are saying native SIP they mean that the SIP peer will be done over their Fiber, on their network and it will not traverse the public Internet as normal ITSPs like SIPStation, Flowroute, etc. would. They use the SBC to monitor and bridge your PBX into their network for SIP.

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And because of all of that, you lose flexibility and are locked in to their service.

Running on the assumption that there are always snowflake scenarios in all areas of business, and ignoring them unless you are one, there are zero reasons to ever buy your phone service from the same company providing your internet service.

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Don’t disagree.

OK. Thanks.

So if I buy SIP service from CenturyLink then I DO need a SBC to connect their SIP service to my FreePBX! Thanks for the explanation.

This seems unusual. Most telcos require you to use their SBC. The SBC lease is included as part of your contract. Their tech installs the equipment at your location and helps you connect it to your PBX. Depending on the details, you may need a separate NIC or VLAN on the PBX.

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Stewart, yes, in fact, I use Centrylink at one of my customers and this is the norm, they provide a router and SBC, you connect your PBX to their SB…the SBC is the demarc

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Not disagreeing with anything said so far, but another perspective is the cost model.

What is the monthly on their new PRI, the rent on the SBC, taxes, fees, 911 interconnect fees, etc.?

What is the monthly on just getting “generic Internet” from them and you choosing one or more competitive carriers (not CLECs, just other ITSPs)? Most ITSPs require a commitment in terms of rates and minimums, plus there are charges “per phone number” and “per minute, per call”.

In my dealings with CLink, the PRI is the differentiator. The cost for delivering your phone numbers over 1.5Mbps PRI are way higher than just getting 2Mbps of pure internet over the same fiber link.

Whichever you choose, you are going to end up in reasonably good shape. Follow the money and you will get to your answer.

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Funny, I only want “native SIP”, i.e. from the ISP. I’ve wasted too much time dealing with latency, dropouts, router configuration, finger pointing between the ISP and the SIP provider (or, they’ll each blame routing between the two parties), etc. Native SIP is far more likely (though not always guaranteed) to give you truly reserved bandwidth for voice data, less latency, and less pointing fingers since the route is fully within the same organization.

However, I recently moved service from a PRI (different provider) over to CenturyLink SIP, and unfortunately I don’t know that any of the above actually came to be. I felt that CL dropped the ball multiple times. There were so many departments involved from so many different acquired companies that it seemed as though I was dealing with completely separate organizations. I never felt that anyone ever took ownership of the install, or that the sales team wanted anything to do with me once the contract was signed, and I had months of what I felt were unnecessary delays along with months of billing difficulties. Interestingly enough, the actual SIP configuration into FreePBX was probably the easiest I’ve ever been involved with.

You have my sympathies, they are indeed incompetent

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