When the quality of its old PBX phone system began to suffer, the Monadnock Regional School District in New Hampshire considered an upgrade. Lack of available replacement parts and handsets meant the district would need a full replacement; however, the budget would not cover a district-wide upgrade to a traditional premise-based phone system.

Fortunately, the district was able to leverage a cloud-based voice system from FairPoint Communications. “The FairPoint Hosted PBX gave us a modern, feature-rich phone system that eliminated the hassle of installing and maintaining PBX equipment on our premises,” Neal Richardson, Director of Technology and Emergency Management at the school district, says. “The cloud-based system lowered our total budget request and made it possible for us to replace our entire phone network at once rather than one PBX at a time as the budget might allow.” The photo below on the right is a FairPoint CommunicationsAastra 6867 phone unit.

The new FairPoint offering leverages Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology and FairPoint’s Ethernet network. The setup delivers a unified voice and data communications system that enables users to communicate with each other effectively.

To help make the upgrade possible, the Monadnock schools were able to participate in the federal government’s E-rate program. While E-rate funds would not cover the cost of replacement hardware for a traditional phone system, they would subsidize part of the cost of the cloud-based voice service.

With redundancy built into the network, the district also gained peace of mind. If the district’s primary line goes down, it can fall over to the PBX side of the network.

The cloud-based phone system, which was installed August 2014, has enabled the Monadnock schools to upgrade their voice system much sooner than planned, and for tens of thousands of dollars less than expected.

“With the FairPoint Hosted PBX, there was no hardware to replace or maintain, and that ultimately cost less,” Richardson says. “I no longer had to worry about buying $20,000 to $30,000 worth of PBX equipment to get me by in the event something happened to the communications system at one of our schools.”

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