Courthouse to upgrade telephone system

Payette County Commissioners Georgia Hanigan, Reece Hrizuk and Marc Shigeta are seen at the Board of Commissioners meeting on Sept. 14. The commission approved telephone upgrades for the Payette County Courthouse, to be installed by Farmers Mutual Telephone Company.

PAYETTE — During the Board of Payette County Commissioners’ regular meeting on Sept. 14, Farmers Mutual Telephone Company presented commissioners with a contract to replace copper analog telephone lines with digital lines capable of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). The technology facilitates Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections.

Tyler Laird, an official with Farmers Mutual, explained the existing system to the Commissioners, compared with the work proposed under the contract.

“The way your phone system works now is you’ve got thirty-nine copper lines, which are basic telephone lines, coming into your system and those lines are split out between all the departments,” said Laird. “Each department gets so many phone lines, like the clerks have four phone lines … For all the phones in that department you can have a maximum of four calls at once. With SIP technology, digital, you would have thirty ‘appearances’ for your phone system … and that’s split between your whole system.”

An appearance refers to an active telephone call. Laird clarified that the call capacity would no longer be limited by department with the upgrade.

“You wouldn’t need to port all thirty-nine of your phone numbers,” added Laird. “Each department could port their main number and every phone on that system could use that same number at the same time.”

The technology would be facilitated using ethernet connections, in a similar manner to internet connections.

Commissioner Georgia Hanigan moved to approve the contract, with Commissioner Marc Shigeta seconding. The vote to approve was 2-0, with Commissioner Reece Hrizuk abstaining from voting due to a conflict of interest. The contract was signed by Hanigan, along with Farmers Mutual officials.

The upgrade will come at a cost of $1,340.

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