Q

Can we install VoIP phones on our fiber backbone network?

We have been told by a communications contractor that if we installed VoIP phones on our fiber backbone network, the phones would not ring or work properly. Is this true? We have Cisco Catalyst 4506's, 2950's, 3550 switches. If this is the case, what would we need to do in order to install VoIP onto our system?

We have been told by a communications contractor that if we installed VoIP phones on our fiber backbone network, the phones would not ring or work properly. Is this true? We have Cisco Catalyst 4506's, 2950's, 3550 switches.
If this is the case, what would we need to do in order to install VoIP onto our system?
I am not sure where this is coming from. It doesn't sound legit to me. In fact, most people install their VoIP with copper to the desk and fiber in the backbone. I would love it if you could provide me more info. This is certainly something that everyone could benefit from if for nothing else than to dispel an obvious rumor.

If your switches have a software load that supports quality of service you will have no problems. If not, a simple

software upgrade will fix you right up. The fiber will have nothing to do with it. A packet is a packet and will travel anything that supports IP.

I really don't understand this comment. I am looking forward to your response. My guess is that your communications company is used to dealing with much smaller networks that don't have fiber -- for instance, very small local area networks that are all copper attached. Can you please also let me know what phones you are considering? I look forward to hearing from you and thanks!

This was first published in May 2006

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