Need Help - Proof of Concept Setup

I would like to use the freepbx distro to build a pbx for someone. They currently have about 70 users/phones and two PRI circuits.

They currently have two PRI circuits but I am almost positive (willing to bet on it) that they never make/receive so many calls that they use the second one. So, I would like to build the new pbx then connect the second PRI and then start using it to experiment/introduce management to what a freepbx based system can do.

I have a few questions:

  1. Do you see any problems with this approach
  2. Will my plan to use the second PRI circuit work?
  3. How do I determine what DIDs the second PRI is using?
  4. What PRI line card would you recommend?
  5. What hardware would you recommend I use to build this?


You may not be able to break the set of PRI’s. If they share a single D-Channel with NFAS.

DID’s are not assigned to physical circuits, DID’s go to route index’s. Route Index’s point to trunk groups, the data container for the physical circuits.

My guess is the two PRI’s are in a single TG.

I would call the carrier and get a channel usage report.

If they are provisioned NFAS you will have to put an order in to disable.

If they are in one trunk group, you will have to put in an order to split.

Once split you can order DID’s.

Just to add to the above and answer you last two questions have a look at the Digium PRI cards or the Sangoma. Both very good and work well whenever I’ve used them. Any PC system or server system will do if you are just testing. I’ve used an old HP Proliant DL360 for testing this sort of thing and it’s easily capable of supporting large numbers of extensions. Make sure that you order the correct card for the server (PCI or PCIe). Also check the card, some cards will only work with 3.3v PCI and some require 5v PCI.

@Skyking - Uh, yeah, that’s a lot of what I was afraid of. That is a lot of greek to me.

So, call the carrier see what the usage is. If they show no usage on the second PRI, ask how they are provisioned and then if they are one trunk group.

They are two separate cards in the smart jack but I’m guessing that doesn’t affect what you’re talking about.

No, you are correct the two smarjacks in the carrier shelf each serve one T1. The t1’s transport the ISDN PRI’s from your providers switch to you.

Take the first step and get your usage by channel (inbound) then we can take the next steps.

Have you considered engaging a consultant to assist you in the trial?

@Sky - Thanks for the help. I’ll ask the question then go from there.

I’m hoping to do this trial myself. If we choose to proceed, I plan on working with Schmooze to get the final system figured out and setup.