Testing with PSTN Calls

Faxes, modems, and text devices were originally designed to function in a standard PSTN environment. Their migration to VoIP networks poses additional challenges such as delay, jitter, and packet drops that may negatively impact their success. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that a problematic fax, modem, or text device works over the PSTN first before expecting it to work over an IP network.

Figure 12-3 illustrates a fax machine being moved from its VoIP network connection to a PSTN connection for testing. Be aware that a modem or text device could also be substituted for the fax machine in this diagram.

Figure 12-3 Testing the Connection over the PSTN

Figure 12-3 Testing the Connection over the PSTN

A straight PSTN connection between the two modulated end devices eliminates any adverse effects from the VoIP network. If the devices work fine over the PSTN but fail when connected over the VoIP network, you have confirmation that the issue is VoIP related. However, if the devices fail to work over the PSTN, there is a good chance that you are dealing with a problem that is not VoIP related at all.

Occasionally, fax, modem, and text devices develop problems even though everything has been working fine for years. Other times, users might unknowingly change a setting or configuration on the end device that can cause failures, too. Taking the time to test problematic devices over the PSTN is the best way to confirm that these end devices are operating correctly.

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