Indexed Forever writes:
Asterisk is an open source Linux-based PBX, that is feature equivalent to six figure PBX systems. Like RedHat they sell compiled bundles for a few hundred dollars. But, again, we are a start-up, so my co-founder made Debian recognize the card (Asterisk requires a $100 card for PSTN phone or use of a $60 internet phone) he installed in our beige box PC. Then he configured Asterisk to talk to a couple VOIP termination providers, which is as easy as providing your static IP address. The ones that charge even take PayPal. The most time consuming aspect of setup was going through the configuration screens as there are so, so many features.
Now we have every conceivable telephony feature (ok, no RSS enclosure feed for voicemail, but its open source – we could add it). Look at a small/medium business telephony features list we have that and much more.
And the cost? Free. In coming calls? Free. Outgoing calls? $0.013 per minute to the US. Unless we are contacting another Asterisk installation, then? Free (talk about network effects!). So our global telecommunication costs about $10 a month for VIOP, $15 to SBC for a voice line we dont use, $50 for DSL to an ISP (who pays something to SBC for using their lines). Instead of $75 per line, SBC gets about $40 total.
So Open Source disrupts the equipment providers, and VOIP plus Open Source disrupts the service providers.