We have two residential telephone lines. One is our "primary" line which is a published number and has an unlimited local and long distance calling plan.
The other is a measured local service which we use for our fax machine.
During a recent review of our telecom services, I discovered that we had not looked at the long-distance service provider on the fax line for many years and we were paying a fairly hefty monthly minimum to send only about a half-dozen out-going faxes per month.
As I result, I decided to cancel the long-distance service on the fax line and have no PIC'd carrier.
I now have to decide what is the best approach to sending faxes:
- When sending a fax, we can unplug the fax machine from its regular incoming line and plug it into our other line where we have the unlimited local and long distance rate plan. (Just remember to put it back when done so that we can receive incoming faxes and so the fax machine doesn't answer our home number.)
- We can install a mechanical RJ-11 switch to switch the fax machine between lines, as above, and avoid crawling around plugging and un-plugging cords. (Same issue of having to remember to turn the switch back when done so that regular callers on the home phone number don't get blasted by an answering fax squeal.)
- We can place outgoing faxes by prefixing the call with 1010 plus an inter-exchange carrier code of a carrier which offers a good low-usage rate.
- We can buy a pre-paid long distance card at Costco or or somewhere and use when placing calls from the fax machine.
Possibly, I could purchase or design an automatic switching device that would route outgoing calls from the fax to line one and incoming calls to the fax from line two. That seems like a bit of a geek-like solution.
Or we could just find a cost-effective low-usage LD carrier to PIC for the fax line.
BTW, selective ring service is not an option because I do not want the fax to be unavailable when I am on a voice call on the primary home number.
Does anyone have any suggestions inexpensive 1010- carrier, a low- or no- minimum LD carrier, or a hardware solution as above?