TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Sharing One Line for Fax and Voice?

Re: Sharing One Line for Fax and Voice?

John Levine (
26 Apr 2006 04:42:23 -0000

> Sorry for jumping in, but how do those boxes work? Does the box pick
> up the line, waits for a few seconds, and ...

> -- if it gets a FAX tone, it will direct the call to the fax plug
> -- if it gets nothing, it will forward it to the phone plug?

You got it.

> But if it's a voice call, will users just get silence for several
> seconds, or does the box simultaneously listens to the incoming call
> to tell if it's fax or voice, and also play a ring tone so, in case
> it's a human calling, the caller thinks the phone is still ringing?

Depending on the box it might play a fake ring tone, or it might start
the answering machine message. Either way, it's pretty putrid.

My suggestion is to order distinctive ringing, a second number that
rings on the same line with a different pattern. Then get a fax
machine that understands distinctive ringing (a lot of them do, check
the manual) and will only answer if it hears the ring-ring pattern for
the second number. That works great, fax and voice have separate
numbers and there's no question who's supposed to answer what call.



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