Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE -

“The good ques­tion is, what will the prov­ince do if we don’t have all of the lo­cal gov­ern­ments (on­board).”

PORT HAST­INGS — The Strait Re­gional School Board is looking to re­duce its long dis­tance phone bill by em­brac­ing VoIP (voice-over-In­ter­net-pro­to­col).

As a pi­lot project, voice com­mu­ni­ca­tions at the board’s cen­tral of­fice in Port Hast­ings will be car­ried through its data lines rather than tra­di­tional tele­phone lines by the end of March.

“ Voice-over-In­ter­net is us­ing the In­ter­net, data lines, as your phone lines,” su­per­in­ten­dent Jack Beaton said. “As a re­sult, it is much more cost-ef­fi­cient.”

The first phase of the project will oc­cur at the board ’s Ceme­tery Road head­quar­ters.

“It won’t af­fect the ap­pear­ance of any­thing or how things op­er­ate, the same ... phone will be on my desk, the same num­ber, and things like that, it’s just the way the in­fra­struc­ture will be aligned,” Beaton said.

The next step would be to move VoIP out into schools, he added, which will be­ing many more ef­fi­cien­cies for the board in long dis­tance charges.

“If you’re fa­mil­iar with things like Skype and the like, where you’re us­ing those In­ter­net re­sources to do the voice over, this is us­ing that for your reg­u­lar phone pur­poses,” he said. “ We’re just start­ing it here and hope to grow it out to some­thing big­ger so that we can re­al­ize some sav­ings.”

High-speed In­ter­net ser­vice is re­quired to use VoIP. The Strait board has 25 school build­ings in four coun­ties, over a ge­o­graphic area of 11,000 square kilo­me­tres.

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