FLEMINGTON, NJ – Do you think your phone plan is expensive?

County government here spent $405,000 on its phones last year, but a report from last year’s technology assessment suggested there could be savings to be had.

At the May 14 Hunterdon Freeholder meeting, the board awarded a contract to AT&T for a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telecommunications system.

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“By implementing the VoIP system ... we are advised that the county’s annual communications cost will reduce from $405,000 to $207,000 per year going forward, a considerable savings for the taxpayers,” said Freeholder Director Matt Holt.

The VoIP phone system will use the county’s current IP network to transmit voice communications to an AT&T data center where the calls will be connected to the nationwide switched telephone network. 

The new system replaces the Century Link Centrex system that has been in place for more than 30 years. VoIP will also provide a number of enhanced calling features that are not available in the current system.

AT&T was awarded a $145,805 contract through the state contract system to install and host the system.

“That capital outlay will be recovered in less than a year due to the annual cost savings,” Holt said.