Sunday, January 11, 2009

Part 1: VoIP Technologies Every Business Should Know – POE

Power Over Ethernet, commonly referred to as POE, is a technology that provides power to devices attached to a data network. Defined by the 802.3af network standard, POE takes advantage of unused wire pairs in a network cable to transmit low voltage power.

POE is an ideal technology combined with IP phones. Here are some reasons why:

• One connection for both data and power reduces clutter under the desk
• Traditional phone systems can be replaced by IP without additional power connections.
• Mobility – Phones can easily be moved wherever a network connection exists.
• Safety – Provides lower voltage power than traditional 120-volt outlets.
• Provides uninterrupted power to phones when combined with a UPS.
• Phones can easily be remotely shut down by disabling power from the network switch. A handy feature when reboots are required to upload firmware changes.

Additional applications for POE include security cameras, wireless access points and other network devices. To discover how a POE enabled network and phone system can benefit your business please drop us a note at



  1. Excellent point. Its also important to remember not all POE is the same. We ran into some issue with a Cisco Standard vs IEEE standards for POE.

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  3. Yes compatibility between standards can be an issue. We ran into this problem three years ago on a job we did in New York. Luckily most devices support the IEEE 802.3af standard now. Also, many of the IP Phones on the market also support the Cisco standard if you have some older Cisco equipment around. Of course IEEE is now developing a new POE standard 802.3at. Hopfuly they will make it backwards compatible to avoid any future issues.