It was recently brought to my attention that we do not have a fax machine at my place of business. Keep in mind that I work for a fortune 500 company which likes to keep up with emerging technology. Apparently users have been complaining amongst themselves about our lack of fax machines but decided to not bring it to my attention. It wasn’t until a programmer was unable to send a fax to a software company for it to come to my attention. It turns out that our office Copier/Scanner also has a built in Fax Machine. Regrettably, there are no phone jacks located near the copier.
What I had planned to do was purchase a Cisco modem (we’re mainly a Cisco ran company) which would convert the analog fax machine into an IP fax machine. From there our network admin could assign a number to it through Cisco call manager. My boss however decided that this would be a waste of money and suggested that I figure a way to hook it up for next to nothing. Like stated previously, there are no phone jacks near the fax machine. In fact, there’s probably only about 5 phones jacks in the building. Yes that’s right, we are strictly VoIP. This means, of course, that I have a plethora of RJ45 wall jacks to choose from.
After mapping out where the closest ethernet wall jack ran and where the analog phone lines are terminated I brainstormed a resolution. Luckily, the ethernet patch panel and 66 block (phone patch panel) are loacted in the same room. What I figured was my best plan of action would be to run a CAT5 cable, with a RJ11 connector on one side and a RJ45 connector on the other, from the fax machine to the wall plate. From there I would run another CAT5 cable from the patch panel to the 66 block.