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Asterisk Turns 10; Celebrates a Decade of Powering Telephony
Leading open source PBX, telephony engine and telephony applications toolkit now deployed in hundreds of enterprises globally
When created by Mr. Spencer in his dorm room in 1999, Asterisk provided an opportunity for open source enthusiasts and developers to create and customize a private branch exchange (PBX) system, which until then was not possible. Asterisk grew in popularity and is now downloaded more than 1.5 million times per year for use by individuals and organizations interested in an alternative to expensive and cumbersome proprietary phone systems.
Over the years, thousands of individuals and organization have contributed to the development and growth of the Asterisk open source project with new codes (more than 2,000 new code commits in 2009), configurations and applications. Today, Asterisk is downloaded nearly 5,500 times a day and boasts a community of 63,000 active participants on Asterisk forums, covering 28,500 topics with 92,000 forum posts.
"When I put the Asterisk platform out there 10 years ago -- using the Linux operating system and my own PBX code -- I never imagined the profound impact that it would have. I just believed that Asterisk could serve as an affordable and flexible telephony solution," said Spencer. "The strength of Asterisk is a reflection of the creativity and ingenuity of the community along with the value that Asterisk provides its users. It's been gratifying to be part of its impressive growth so far and we are excited to help it evolve in the future."
Found throughout the world and in businesses of all sizes, Asterisk is 40-80 percent less expensive than traditional telephony systems and is more flexible, allowing users to integrate their phone systems with existing business-critical applications or easily write custom programs that extend the value of their phone systems. Asterisk can be found across many industries including retail, financial services, insurance, real estate, government and healthcare. In addition, Asterisk has spawned countless new business models, from service providers (more than 200 worldwide today) and traditional telephony companies, to technology integrators and application developers.
Asterisk is the world's most popular open source telephony project. Under development since 1999, Asterisk is free, open source software that turns an ordinary computer into a feature-rich voice communications server. Asterisk makes it simple to create and deploy a wide range of telephony applications and services.
Code for Asterisk, originally written by Mark Spencer of Digium, Inc., has been contributed from open source software engineers around the world. Currently boasting over two million users, Asterisk supports a wide range of TDM protocols for the handling and transmission of voice over traditional telephony interfaces, featuring VoIP packet protocols such as SIP and IAX among others. It supports U.S. and European standard signaling types used in business phone systems, allowing it to bridge between next-generation voice-data integrated networks and existing infrastructure.
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