Barbour switching to digital phone lines

A slew of Barbour County entities could soon have new a digital telephone system, officials said at this week’s Barbour County Commission meeting.

The Barbour County Courthouse, the Barbour County Fairgrounds, Barbour County Community Corrections, Barbour County Magistrate Court, the county dog kennel and the West Virginia University Extension Office will be among the affected agencies.

“It’s a replacement, obviously, of your phone system, but it also gives you the expansion and flexibility that you’re going to need – not for today – but down the road too,” Brian Clem with Global Science Technology, a network consulting firm, told commissioners at Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting.

“So as you grow and add on more offices and buildings as you need to, (the digital phone lines) provide the means to provide that continuity between this building (the Barbour County Courthouse) and the other buildings. You can centralize all of your


The commission has discussed the possible switch since early this year, citing difficulty with making and receiving calls when other lines are tied up. Some county offices have requested additional telephone lines. The digital service could prevent the commission from having to install additional telephone lines.

“That type of line is a little more flexible and sophisticated than a plain old telephone service,” Drew Pomeroy with City Net told the commissioners. “What will happen is, when you pick up the phone, the phone system will just find the next available line and be able to make that phone call.”

Pomeroy explained that one digital phone line could replace every four analog lines. He said that the minimum available channels on just one digital line is 23.

City Net was given permission to begin the $46,219.70 project by commissioners Monday. The actual Voice Over Internet Protocol phone and cabling system, however, will not be installed for about six to eight weeks, County Administrator Chuck Foley said. The first steps for City Net will be ordering equipment for the system and awaiting its arrival.

The current county telephone service is provided by Frontier. Not only will the county be going from the traditional analog phone system to an upgraded digital service, but the commission also will be switching its provider to City Net.