New technologies help make IP telephony easier, cheaper, more secure

IP telephony vendors showcased their latest products at the annual ACUTA conference.

As more schools and colleges look to rout their phone calls and other communications over their IP network, a number of products and services are emerging that aim to make IP telephony easier to implement … and more secure.

Some of these new products and services were on display during the 40th annual conference of the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education (ACUTA), held in Orlando April 3-6.

The Ontario-based company Phybridge, for instance, showcased what it called the world’s first network switch that lets you run IP telephony, unified communications, and Power over Ethernet service over a traditional telephone network—thereby saving bandwidth on your IP network, while leveraging your school’s investment in its original telecommunications infrastructure.

For years, Phybridge says, the telecommunications industry has believed that voice traffic was simply another application on an IP network—and that huge cost savings could be realized by having a single network handle both voice and data. But that undersells the challenges of handling the real-time requirements of voice traffic over an IP network, which can be significant.

“We believe that voice on data is the old way [of deploying IP telephony],” said Richard Kasslack, director of partner experience for Phybridge, “and that voice with data is the wave of the future.”

Phybridge’s UniPhyer switch reportedly provides digital signaling, as well as power, over a single-pair copper telephone line, with a range of up to 1,200 feet. It also allows for full duplex service, meaning that both parties on the call can speak at the same time—just as they can in a traditional phone call.

Among the colleges and universities reportedly using the product are Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Western State College, and Vermont Law School (VLS).

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