PBX (Private Branch Exchange)

Everybody’s heard of it. Most people—at least those in the business world (I guess that’s pretty much everybody)—know that it has to do with voice communications. Many have referenced it, used it in a sentence or in conversation, maybe even pointed to it. Well, at least they think they pointed to it. No, it’s not the switchboard managed by the receptionist. So what, exactly, is a PBX (Private Branch Exchange)?

A PBX is, in the most basic of definitions, a switch that connects the public phone system to a company and its employees. It’s actually like a miniature version of the LEC’s central office. A PBX usually sits in a company’s telecom closet where connections delivered by Internet Service Provider(s) are terminated (demarcation point). A PBX enables users to dial outside the office or internally to reach other employees. It manages call routing and advanced calling features, including voicemail, auto attendant, messaging, and more. Access to types of calls can be set per phone.  

Here’s the rub—a PBX ain’t cheap and isn’t very easy to install and set up. It’s one of the many reasons so many companies have turned to MetroNet’s Managed PBX Service—affordable, super scalable, and fully managed by MetroNet’s experts from our redundant, highly secure data centers.

A PBX (forget for a minute that they don’t require large, upfront investment) offers savings by allowing companies to order far fewer phone lines. Back in the day, if an employee wanted his or her own phone line and number, that meant paying a monthly fee for each phone line. That got crazy expensive. With a PBX, companies don’t need to order lines for each person; they are pooled, or shared.