The present invention describes a system and method for communicating voice and data over a packet-switched network that is adapted to coexist and communicate with a legacy PSTN. The system permits packet switching of voice calls and data calls through a data network from and to any of a LEC, a customer facility or a direct IP connection on the data network. The system includes soft switch sites, gateway sites, a data network, a provisioning component, a network event component and a network management component. The system interfaces with customer facilities (e.g., a PBX), carrier facilities (e.g., a LEC) and legacy signaling networks (e.g., SS
) to handle calls between any combination of on-network and off-network callers.
The soft switch sites provide the core call processing for the voice network architecture. The soft switch sites manage the gateway sites in a preferred embodiment, using a protocol such as the Internet Protocol Device Control (IPDC) protocol to request the set-up and tear-down of calls. The gateway sites originate and terminate calls between calling parties and called parties through the data network. The gateway sites include network access devices to provide access to network resources. The data network connects one or more of the soft switch sites to one or more of the gateway sites. The provisioning and network event component collects call events recorded at the soft switch sites. The network management component includes a network operations center (NOC) for centralized network management.