You can configure a Site on the Barracuda Phone System, which allows you to customize the handling of all phone calls from that site. To illustrate one use for sites, consider 911 emergency call handling. On a residential phone line, when 911 is dialed, the phone company sends the phone number and address of the emergency to the 911 call center. This allows emergency services to be dispatched even when the person calling is not able to speak.
This is not simple with VoIP-based telephone service because unlike a residential telephone line, a SIP trunk (your VoIP-based phone service) is not associated with a physical address. Because of this, some SIP trunks do not allow 911 calls, while others route through a national 911 call center. Some SIP trunks do support E911 which allows association of a physical address with one or more of your direct inward dialing (DID) phone numbers. In this case, when you dial out, the DID is sent out as the caller ID so the receiving party sees the DID number as the calling number. E911 allows you to send the DID number to the 911 call center and associate a physical address with it.
Consider the following scenario: A Barracuda Phone System at 123 Main Street is configured with a SIP trunk that has E911 setup to send the Main Street address. A remote office at 456 Maple Avenue has a single VoIP phone connected to the same Barracuda Phone System, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Remote Phone with wrongly identified location sent in an emergency.
When the phone at 456 Maple Avenue dials 911, the operator receiving the call sees 123 Main Street as the address of the call. Emergency services will be dispatched to the wrong address. To prevent this error, create a Site on the Barracuda Phone System and associate it with the remote location. In this scenario the remote Site has its own DID and corresponding E911 information, as shown in Figure 2:
Figure 2. remote phone associated with a Site passes correct location for emergency service.
When the remote phone calls 911, the Barracuda Phone System associates the call with the configured Site (456 Maple Avenue) and sends out information which correctly associates it with the location of the emergency, so emergency services can be dispatched to the correct address. This scenario requires you to contact your SIP trunk provider and request a DID with E911 service. The SIP trunk provider, not the Barracuda Phone System, is responsible for maintaining and properly sending E911 information on emergency phone calls.
Keep in mind that any physical phone line (analog line or PRI circuit) is already associated with a physical street address. When using traditional phone lines, you will not be able to customize the information sent out to the 911 call center. Using the Barracuda Phone System Sites functionality along with a SIP provider and E911 enables you to customize caller ID for remote sites.
Sites functionality of the Barracuda Phone System allows you to set up custom configurations to meet very specific challenges.