New PBX user

So, I am completely new to the telephony game and I am starting to experiment with voip service.

A bit of background here, I work from home and I am required to provide and support my own telephony service for inbound calls. Currently I just pay for a POTS line as it is cheap and reliable, but not convenient. I am only needing a single line/single seat solution, if all goes well I may consider expanding.

The reason for this line is that I receive alot of inbound calls as part of a “hunt group?” I think they are called? Someone needs to reach an agent so they start dialing out through the list of available agents one by one. We need to “hook” the call within 20 seconds to get routed the call. If We don’t answer within that time, it re-routes to the next available agent. This is easy with a POTS line, routing is near instant. I have tried with cellular service and I have seen where it takes 15+ seconds to actually get routed the call, therefore I often miss the call and it gets logged negatively against my performance. They just assume I am avoiding work.

In short, I need a line without much latency in routing. I have tested with google voice and routing is sub 3 seconds, which makes me believe VOIP is a viable solution. However, Google Voice is not a valid option for me for other reasons.

Now, another aspect I need is of course call quality, another factor here. Coming from a technical background, I understand the impact of packet loss and jitter when using voip services. That’s something I can definitely get a handle on with some decent QOS, and all voip providers are expected to have this handled on their end as well. Basically, all ends of the call need to have crisp clear audio, it just contributes to the overall experience.

And reliability of course this goes back to the latency issues, I need calls routed promptly so I have adequate time to answer. I also can’t have calls dropping mid call, I don’t suspect this would really be an issue with most competent providers though.

Now, this info may or may not be beneficial at all, but currently these inbound calls are being routed primarily by Level 3 and sometimes Verizon with the occasional other provider, however this is more rare to see these calls.

I stood up a FreePBX server last night, having never set up a PBX before, this feels quite extensive and I am unsure where to begin. I am confident I will be able to master it shortly given my background, but I am unsure where to start. Whether I should get an FXO gateway to convert my existing POTS lines to SIP to integrate with this PBX, or pay for a SIP trunking service. Possibly even a complete hosted PBX if it is cheap and secure(really avoiding the hosted route). With my end result just being use of a softphone client on a PC or smartphone. With inbound call volume being about 99%, I would like to reserve outbound functionality just because it would be a great learning experience. I am hoping someone here can get me off on the right foot. Point me at some of the best providers, or tutorials.

I also see the ability for SMS and MMS via a voip solution, completely unnecessary for my use case, but certainly would be fun to experiment with.