I know that in the most basic sense "Network Engineering" has an implication that it's IP Network Engineering, but I feel like this would be a great place to talk about telephony-based networks as well.

I'm aware that there is a Telephony site on Area51 already, however it lacks enough support at this time to be a separate entity.

I'm looking for opinions on this in hopes that the FAQ for this site will be worded in an inclusive way for non-IP networking technologies.

2 Answers 2


This came up during the definition phase of the proposal. While there is an initiative to found a site specifically for telecommunications/telephony, as it stands currently this site is probably the most appropriate place for such discussion. Time will tell how much traction those topics get here, I suppose.

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    I would add that when you get to very basic things like TDM, there is room for a lot of gray area. I would prefer gray area to be on topic on both sides so that people can ask questions relating to different aspects of the problem on both and get reasonably good answers. May 9, 2013 at 5:26

For a couple of reasons I think there are likely to be a lot of areas where there is overlap. I would draw the line at "is this exclusively a telephony question?"

Areas I think that should be definitely on-topic are:

  1. Questions of network convergence (I want to trunk TDMoE over my ethernet network. Are there significant problems with using CoS and QoS controls to ensure sufficient performance? Do I need to think about anything else?)

  2. Questions about network management of VOIP, QoS, etc. These are network management issues and are closely related to #1 above.

  3. Questions about WAN telephony carriers, used to carry data and voice together (everything from T1 frames, perhaps ISDN PRI's etc) to the extent the question is about allocating or managing joint resources.

Areas I think should be off-topic are:

  1. Telephony management questions. "I put 4 T1 cards in my asterisk server and I can't get good call quality. What am I doing wrong?" The answer is "replace with a quad T1 card to drop the number of IRQ's" but that really doesn't have much to do with network engineering per se.

  2. Telephony network and interface layout questions, including but not limited to dial plans, IVR's, etc.

Between these there is a huge gray area. Consider questions of H.323 gatekeeper management. Is this a telephony question or a network perimeter control issue? My own preference is to treat gray areas as on-topic. This allows someone to ask a question in whichever community he or she thinks best represents the specific problem that is occurring (and may indeed ask different aspects of the question in both).

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