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What is a Conference Bridge?

A conference bridge is a virtual meeting room that allows multiple users to participate in a phone call. Unlike conference calls, which are limited to a few users that must be added one at a time, the bridge allows for multiple users to access the conference with the correct conference ID and PIN. Conference bridges allow for flexibility and convenience when setting up virtual meeting rooms. 

Creating a Conference Bridge

Use the following steps to create a conference bridge:

  1. Login to the NocTel control panel and click Conference Bridge in the left-hand menu.

  2. The Conference Bridges page will list any bridges that have been previously created in the account. Click the "Add a Conference Bridges” link above the list to create a new bridge and open the Conference Bridge Editor.

  3. Within the Edit Conference Bridge page the following information should be entered:

    1. Description: Enter a meaningful description/name of the bridge.
    2. Conference ID: The ID is a distinct number that directs the user to the correct bridge when they arrive at the conference center. If no conference bridges are in the account, the Conference ID will automatically start numbering at 1. Otherwise, the numbering will start with the next number in sequence from the last made bridge.

      NocTel recommends using a conference bridge numbering scheme, developed by your account administrator, and used in conjuncture with routing options in the Account Preferences (this is covered later in the article). This ensures that conference ID will not overlap with other extensions, and to allow for the controlling extension to connect the user to the correct bridge by only dialing the ID.

      NOTE: while the numbering scheme for the Conference ID does not have to match the account extension length it is recommended that they do. 911, 999 and 611 should be avoided as IDs. 
    3. Active: This checkbox allows for the conference bridge to be made active, making the bridge accessible to users. Bridges with this box unchecked, are inactive and cannot be accessed by users.
    4. Bridge Owner: By default, the extension belongs to the account. The bridge must be assigned an owner other than account, use the drop-down box to select an extension. Assigning the bridge to an extension combined with the first option allows for the bridge to use the extensions number for the User PIN and the extensions voicemail PIN as the Moderator PIN if desired. 
    5. Options: Under options are checkboxes that can be used to adjust features of the bridge:
      1. Use bridge owner’s voicemail code for moderator PIN, and owner’s extension number for user PIN”: this is used in conjunction with the Bridge Owner option to use data from the extension which is selected as the moderator and user PINs. The selected extension’s number becomes the User PIN, while the selected extension’s voicemail PIN becomes the moderator PIN

        NOTE: When this box is checked, data in the Moderator PIN and User PIN is removed, and no additional data can be added. If a PIN was entered before the box is check, unchecking will return the previous PIN if done before click submit. Once submit is clicked the previous PINs are overwritten. 
      2. Play hold tone when room has no moderator”: this allows for a hold tone to be played to anyone joining as a user when there is no moderator present in the call. Only when a moderator joins does the call become active.
    6. Moderator PIN: if the Bridge Owner data is not being used, the bridge can be assigned a moderator PIN. This is the code the moderator will use to access the bridge with moderator rights. It is recommended that the PIN is at least 4 digits. The Last access data will change once the bridge is used. It will show the last time the PIN was used.
    7. User PIN: if the Bridge Owner data is not being used the bridge can be assigned a user PIN. This is the code that normal user will need to gain access to the bridge. It is recommended that the PIN is at least 4 digits.
  4. Click Submit to save.

Repeat the above steps any time a new conference bridge needs to be made. Existing bridges can also be edited by click on the bridge within the list on the Conference Bridges page. Click submit anytime changes are made that need to be saved. To use a bridge the account needs to have at least one controlling extension that is used to connect to the conference center.

Creating a Controlling Extension for Conference Bridges

In order for the conference bridge to work the account must have an extension that acts to direct calls to the conference center's main menu. The conference center is the gateway to connecting to a bridge.

To create a controlling extension:

  1. Login to the NocTel control panel and click Extensions in the left-hand menu.

  2. Above the list of existing extension, click the “Add a New Extension” link.

  3. On the following page locate the Virtual Extension area and click “Add Virtual” to be taken to a new extension page where its details can be edited.

  4. Click on the pencil icon next to Untitled Extension at the top of the page to give the extension a number and a name.

  5. Click Save at the end of the text box to save the new number and name.

  6. Click the “Edit” link inside the Inbound Behavior widget.

    If you do not see the widget click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the page.

  7. In the inbound behavior set Step #1 to Conference Bridge using the drop-down list.

  8. Leave the "Send the dialed extension as the Conference ID" box unchecked. This feature is pending future development by our team is not currently active.
  9. Delete Step #2 by clicking the gray X to the left of the step.

    Then click OK in the popup box.

    Step #3 will now become a blank Step #2 and can be left as is.
  10. Click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.  

Linking the Conference Bridge Control to a Number in the Account

To allow users to access a conference bridge a number within the account must be routed to the controlling extension for the conference bridge. To do this:

  1. Login to the NocTel control panel and click Numbers in the left-hand menu.

  2. Locate the number in the list that will be used to connect to the conference center from outside of the account, and click on it to open its options page.
  3. In the Number tab use the drop-down list next to Route to Extension to direct the number to the controlling extension for the conference bridges.

  4. Click Submit to save the changes.

Using a Bridge

  1. Dial the number linked to the conference bridge control
  2. The conference greeting will play when prompted, enter the conference bridge ID + #.
  3. When prompted enter either the moderator or user PIN + #
  4. You are now connected to the bridge.


Please note that pressing only the # key to enter as a normal user is currently nonfunctional. All users must enter the bridge ID + # and the PIN + # to join the bridge.  

The Number of Callers Per Bridge?

Conference bridges are cable of handing up to 100 callers. If your organization needs support for conference bridges beyond 100 callers please contact so our team can allocate the necessary resources to meet your needs. 

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