p2p helpline

November 8, 2008 at 10:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Foss helpline

Abstract: Any person who has a problem regarding FOSS/Linux should be able to call a particular phone number (if it were the US, the number would be like 1800-555-LINUX) and get his problem solved. If the problem is not solvable over phone, someone close to that particular location should take it up and visit the person. The idea is to apply a distributed peer-2-peer approach to this FOSS helpline. On the other side of the helpline, people interested in helping out people, basically linux enthusiasts will register and volunteer their services. This will be done on a website. They will be asked questions such as:

  • Days on which you can receive calls. From what time to what time. Maximum number of calls you can handle per day.
  • Your area of expertise
  • Address
  • Other ways to contact you

We shall employ some opensource PBX software. The top 2 candidates look like Asterisk and FreeSWITCH.


  • SIP Voice Terminal Adapter. DVG-2001S is from Dlink and costs around 3000 Rs.
  • A server
  • A telephone (will require 3-4 lines)


  • PBX software
  • Bugzilla issue tracker system
  • Some PHP based script that ranks a prospective call taker in terms of his expertise and proximity to the caller’s location
  • Ideally, we should use some VoIP protocol to transfer calls.
Points of Expenditure :

  1. A multi-line capable VOIP Adapter.
  2. Multiple telephone lines.
  3. Bandwidth, which our institute already possesses.
  4. Subscription to a VOIP provider.


The idea is to make this robust and extremely scalable. if successful in Bengal, should be extended to the service of the nation.



  1. Rahul Sundaram said,

    Related news:


    “What if, in the future, a Fedora volunteer could claim an hour of time to run a VoIP phone and answer user or contributor questions?”

    Essentially, every Fedora contributor that has a Fedora account already has a VOIP id as well powered via asterisk voip servers.

  2. debayan said,

    Will facor that in.

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