Get your school ready for the switch to SIP/VoIP: 5 Things You Need to Know

1. BT is planning the withdrawal of ISDN phone lines, which means schools will need to switch to a VoIP or SIP phone service. SIP (or Session Initiation Protocol channels) behave as normal phone lines, but in fact are phone channels that run over your existing broadband. You make and receive calls in the same way you would with an ordinary phone system, however they completely replace the need for traditional ISDN phone lines. Most calls made in the UK now run over a form of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony. You’re probably familiar with the term VoIP, (Voice over Internet Protocol) essentially, that’s what SIP is – it uses the language of VoIP.

2. Whilst this is another job for schools to manage, the great news is, VoIP and SIP phone services are saving schools thousands of pounds a year on their telephone line and call rental costs; and it’s not difficult to make the switch. Savvy School Business Managers and heads have already switched to SIP and have made significant savings. Schools Broadband has been delivering Voice Over IP (SIP) services to schools for over seven years, and on average, secondary schools using SIP have saved approximately £3000 pa.

3. Switching to SIP is straight forward. Your current PBX phone system could already be SIP compatible, in which case SIP providers can configure SIP phone services remotely. If your PBX phone system isn’t compatible, Schools Broadband can send a small VoIP gateway box for you to plug in making it compatible.

4. SIP/VoIP phone services enable free site-to-site calls, so if you’re a Multi Academy Trust, all phone calls between sites won’t cost you a penny. And if you’re looking to streamline, SIP Trunks also allow you to centralise your receptionist’s role from one location.

5. You keep all your existing telephone numbers, so there aren’t any major communication or print changes; and the virtual nature of SIP means if you require more phone lines, they’re activated, quickly and virtually. You can route any number of calls to mobiles or alternative sites, so your phone service will allow you to operate wherever you need it. If you require advice on how to switch your school to SIP/VoIP, contact a member of the team. Call 01133 222 333 or email

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