Suggestions for offsite 911 Analog routing

I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. First of all our FreePBX server is fully updated and running in our datacenter and all of our 26 sites connect directly to this datacenter. I’ve slowly been converting our sites over to FreePBX with centralized SIP trunking and so far all the sites I’ve converted can use E911 with our provider without any issues. For the sites I’ve converted the only hardware I have at these sites are the phones (PBX Server and Cisco 3845 CUBES are in the datacenters) .The problem is with the next site I need to convert - Our provider is not able to provide E911 service for this site and we are required to install an Analog line at this local facility and direct all 911 calls over this line. From the research I’ve been doing I see I can use the Extension routing module to restrict this site to utilize a different trunk but what I’m looking for is a Analog trunk unit I can install at that facility. Does anyone have any experience with this type of situation and if you do is there a specific model you’ve used for the outbound analog trunk support? Am I moving in the right direction or should I be doing something different?

Any suggestions you can provide would be very much appreciated!!


This is a tough one. Setting up the trunk is easy. Gateways with one FXO port include Obihai OBi212 and Grandstream HT813. Older devices readily available at low cost are Cisco/Linksys SPA3102, Obihai OBi110 and Grandstream HT503.

But the problem with such a setup is it’s only used for 911 and something could go wrong and not be discovered until an emergency occurred. You could send some other traffic over this path, e.g. to a few toll-free numbers, but then you have the risk that the line would be occupied when needed. You would have to write some custom dial plan to knock the other user off and seize the line for the 911 call. Another option is a script that makes a daily test call to one of your own DIDs, at an hour when the office is very unlikely to be occupied.

In any case I’d install a line-powered corded phone in parallel with the gateway, and train users to try that phone if they can’t quickly reach 911 via the PBX.

Have you looked at other providers? See if can do E911 at the problematic site. If so, also send them some or all of your outbound toll-free traffic; these calls are rated at zero. Another option is . They specialize in 911 and sell origination but don’t offer regular termination. If they can do E911 at that site, port a DID or two to them, so their trunk gets regular exercise.

Also, try to have a good failover to traditional 911. E911 is valuable when the caller can’t speak (stroke, choking) or doesn’t wish to speak (avoid alerting an intruder, calling surreptitiously in a holdup). But in most emergencies the caller can speak, or an associate is present who can state his location to the dispatcher, so any 911 call that reaches a nearby PSAP is a lot better than nothing.

Stewart1 - Thank you for the information. I’ve ordered a few Gateways with FXO ports to do some testing and to figure out which unit will work the best. I appreciate the 911 concerns and will be creating a redundant system to make sure my users have a way to always call out to 911 if needed.

Thanks again!

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