Over on one of Google's blogs, there is a post "New life for network equipment" about how the Network Startup Resource Center helps take networking equipment that is "old" by Western standards and give it new life in other parts of the world where equipment such as routers and switches may be too expensive to easily purchase. First off, kudos to Google for supporting such an organization with their own donations. As they say in the blog entry, it's very easy for those of us in the always-on part of the world to take that connectivity for granted. And yet for a very large portion of the world, there is no such guarantee for connectivity.
This post, though, did make me think... what happens to all the "old" VoIP gear when it is replaced? We are at the stage now in the evolution of VoIP where people are replacing IP-PBXs with newer models (from the same or different vendors). SIP phones have been out long enough that they, too, are being swapped out for newer models.
Where are they going? Landfills? Probably.
But yet some of those pieces of equipment may work perfectly fine in other parts of the world where people can't afford newer systems (keeping in mind that PSTN gateways might not, of course, because of the sheer number of different telecom standards). Is the NSRC already dealing with VoIP systems? Are they interested? Are they even the appropriate organization? I don't know... and obviously I can contact them... and perhaps I will when I have a chance at some point. But it's an interesting question to me.
Where does old VoIP equipment go when it's been replaced?