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Asterisk: The Definitive Guide, 3rd Edition by Russell Bryant, Jim Van Meggelen, Leif Madsen

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Chapter 7. Outside Connectivity

You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.

Wayne Dyer

In the previous chapters, we have covered a lot of important information that is essential to a working Asterisk system. However, we have yet to accomplish the one thing that is vital to any useful PBX: namely, connecting it to the outside world. In this chapter we will rectify that situation.

The architecture of Asterisk is significant, due in large part to the fact that it treats all channel types as equal. This is in contrast to a traditional PBX, where trunks (which connect to the outside world) and extensions (which connect to users and resources) are very different. The fact that the Asterisk dialplan treats all channels in a similar manner means that in an Asterisk system you can accomplish very easily things that are much more difficult (or impossible) to achieve on a traditional PBX.

This flexibility does come with a price, however. Since the system does not inherently know the difference between an internal resource (such as a telephone set) and an external resource (for example, a telco circuit), it is up to you to ensure that your dialplan handles each type of resource appropriately.

The Basics of Trunking

The purpose of trunking is to provide a shared connection between two entities. For example, a trunk road would be a highway that connects two towns together. Railroads used the term “trunk” extensively, to refer to a major line that ...

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