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ccoldsmoke

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Recovering from Sandy

I'm with a small company trying to get themselves back up and running in downtown NYC and we've largely recovered, except for telephones.  We're told they won't be back in action until December if we're lucky (copper wiring, not fiber).  Does anyone have any ideas for getting things back up quickly with the same phone number?  Anyone experiencing the same issues in downtown NYC and struggling to find a solution?  I have a feeling I'm going to end up grabbing a bunch of google voice numbers and forwarding them to cell phones or something equally crummy.

I would appreciate any ideas from the experts or anyone that's going through this right now.
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Ron Malmstead
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Please add some details about what your current connectivity options are.... wimax? 4g hotspot? dsl? comcast/cable?

Also, how many phones, call volume, and the nature of your business.  Callcenter? customer service? retail?  inbound or outbound?

What was the speed of your fiber and how much bandwidth do you "need" to function?
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ccoldsmoke

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We have full Internet capabilities.  It's just the phone system that's down since they were on copper.  Internet is 10 MB fiber.  Could use IP phones save for losing the phone number we currently have and having to move to a different area code - something the bosses dislike due to appearances.

10 phones, inbound outbound heavy usage for client service.
Ok... great.  You have connectivity then.

What I would do in your situation, is to use the IP Phones.  Don't worry about the number...you can have your carrier temporarily forward your numbers to the new working number so that it is transparent to incoming calls.   Depending on the type of IP Phone system you subscribe to, ...it's usually possible to set your own outbound callerID to match your "old" phone number.

What are your options for phone system right now?...do you have an "in-house" system that uses IP Phones?  If not, you could also get a "hosted" solution on the internet somewhere.

This to me would be the fastest way to get everything back to normal.
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Phonebuff
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I'm a huge fan of Asterisk, and an expert in that area as well...
While this is certainly an option, we need to know more about your current network infrastructure to make the best recommendation...and by "best" I mean fastest and cheapest while preserving your phone numbers inbound and outbound.  From your comment I assume you have some sort of satelite office somewhere in a different area code?  If so... you could probably still route calls in and out of that location, accross a VPN, and keep the same numbers as well.
We do have a satellite office and I've been considering the VPN option, however the office hit by Sandy is a special circumstance.  They had their own phone system/number and were not going to be looped into ours originally since they are intended to be a temporary location while we wait for office space to free up in our intended permanent location.  They were out on their own island from a telephone standpoint so to speak.  I am tempted to see about assigning them numbers from our satellite office and VPNing over but I think the Asterisk idea might be a lot cleaner as a temporary solution.  Going to do a little more reading on it as I'm not entirely familiar with it, though I'm certain I can make it work - I very much appreciate both the Asterisk and VPN suggestions.  I will definitely be asking further questions!  This is why I love coming to the experts.
One more thought -- If the impacted office has a phone system, just no service, you could also use Asterisk as a gateway.  Bring the SIP Trunks into the Asterisk Box as discussed above and then link to the current PBX as appropriate.  

This might simply the deployment / training issues by confining the Asterisk implementation to the telco room,  although depending on the capability and capacity of the existing switch it could make the Asterisk deployment / dial plans a little more difficult.

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