One user in attendance at the showdown asked about why do vendors always suggest distributing equipment. Aren't there advantages in a centralized approach?

At the time, I said yes, and then told the story about the debate that our design engineer and I had in preparing for the showdown.

I had an alternative design. It was to centralize all the gateways, use Local Number Portability to give the perception of local calling (so the folks in Bakersfield CA could call next door for a pizza), and offer redundant data connections. This would increase gateway utilization (the expensive part of the implementation) since all the ports are available to all the users at any time, and reduce capital costs since small gateways are usually 10 X more expensive per port, than the highest density digital gateways.

Since then, I've come to realize this as "Radical Telephony" – something that most classic vendors won't consider since they insist on proposing solutions that deploy gear in the usual way – into every small, remote office.Interestingly enough, when I explained this design to the user at the showdown, he clapped his hands over his head – obviously satisfied that he was right – there is a better way.

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