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Faxing - Remove POTS line from remote location?

Posted on 2014-03-04
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Last Modified: 2014-03-20
I have a CUCM 8.6 setup at my main site.  We are moving one of my remote locations and right now we have a dedicated POTS line just for a fax machine which I was hoping to get rid of.  The remote site has a Cisco router which is a H323 gateway with a PRI going into it.  Anyone have any idea how I can port my POTS number into the PRI and get my physical fax machine to communicate with the router for faxing passthrough?  It looks like the Cisco ATA 187 might be used to do this?
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Question by:mattpayne59
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by:JRSCGI
ID: 39905796
If the remote site is not located in the same local exchange as the main site, then the carriers cannot directly port the number to the PRI as a simple DID.  They can charge you for pointing that number to the PRI, but they will call it something else (foreign exchange number, market expansion number, etc.) and charge you a premium.  

If you have an analog FX(S) port installed on a card in the router (which router model are you using?) or obtain an ATA  you will be able to do this.  Both methods can provide the analog port for the fax.  Assigning the T.38 protocol is highly recommended to support the fax transmission.
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by:mattpayne59
ID: 39906413
Not sure I understand your first point about the PRI.  I have a PRI at my remote location where the POTS line is currently.  They are the same local exchange so I know I can port that onto my PRI easily.

I am trying to completely do away with the POTS line.  Are you saying I would plug the fax machine into an FX(S) port on the router and then do the conversion there?

For this, do I even need to worry about CUCM or can I do this directly through the router?  Trying to figure out all of my options here... Thank you.
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by:JRSCGI
ID: 39907402
Sorry, I missed that the PRI is in the same exchange as the local POTS lines - so you are correct the porting is not an issue.  

You program the analog port in CUCM as a station.  This port can be a card in some routers (depending upon the model number) or it can be an ATA.  In either case, you can get rid of the POTS line.  The fax machine plugs into the analog port on the router or into the ATA, but it requires CUCM programming to recognize it as an internal extension with a DID number pointed to it (the old POTS line number after porting).
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by:arnold
ID: 39907794
Along the JRSCGI's point, you need an FXS port to which you will connect the fax device.
Does your CUCM ROUTER have an FXS port?  This is the port type you need to provide an interface to your fax device.
You would then define the PORT with an extension as a fax number. You would then need to configure your dial-in plan to map the DID number (the phone number that will be ported) to the extension as well as map the extension on the dial-out plan to the phone number. (the outgoing call will not work until the porting is done)

To test the fax, you can point any other number to the extension and send a fax through.

Depending on the provider, you should make it clear to them that this number is for use as a FAX.  They "do something" possibly mark it to avoid interference.
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by:mattpayne59
ID: 39907803
Now I am confused again.  If I use a Cisco ATA 187 to connect to the fax machine why would I need an FXS port on my router?  Seems easier to go that route than using an FXS card.
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by:arnold
ID: 39907941
If you have an FXS port and you can reroute the existing wiring from the Pots line to fax to the FXS port to FAX ...

If you have an ATA that will provide the FXS port and you can configure it to connect to your CUCM with appropriate mappings, you're all set.

The FXS is a straight forward single location to see what is going on including possibly configuring CUCM fax to email/print.
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JRSCGI earned 500 total points
ID: 39908067
The ATA is the simple approach, but some routers have the ability to install a card for analog circuits so that you do not have to buy an ATA.  It is an either / or situation.  If you like the ATA approach, that is all you need.  The cost is not that great either.
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