Major US library to install IP telephony system

One of the oldest and most highly regarded libraries in the US, the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) in Virginia, has announced its intention to upgrade the current phone network in existence across its branches, to one based on internet protocol (IP) telephony technology.

The library says its current phone system has been in place for more than 20 years and that its age makes finding replacement components increasingly difficult.

As with many business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) systems, the library’s intended new IP telephony network is expected to benefit from additional features over and above those found in conventional business phone systems. The new system is also expected to help lower the library’s phone costs.

Tim Holson, president of JMRL’s board of trustees, said that the replacement phone network had been part of the institution’s five-year plan for a while; but that the library’s existing internet capacity was not yet sufficiently robust to support the type of business VoIP system the library required.

An internet upgrade was therefore needed, he said, as an important ‘first step’ before the installation of a new IP telephony could be introduced.

JMRL’s intention to move towards an IP telephony system is in line with current industry trends around the world; not just for large organisations, but also among small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The advantages for SMEs of IP telephony and business VoIP are often very similar to those enjoyed by larger organisations. They include increased control over the number of phone line and extensions in operation, without the need for rewiring, the capacity for using the same extension at different locations and, in many cases, lower phone costs.

Fortunately, whereas JMRL’s had originally earmarked a reported $33,000 to revamp its phone network, many SMEs have been able to choose the more cost-effective option of a hosted IP telephony solution from a business VoIP provider or VoIP reseller.