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44. VZN NIXES ISDN IN NE USA   9/5/13 by Dave Immer

While existing users are not affected, many prospective ISDN customers in the northeastern states are waking up to the recent Verizon policy of no longer offering new BRI circuits. Providing the service and supporting it simply didn’t make bottom-line sense. So new would-be users in New York and surrounding states are finding their options just shrank.

Here are a few alternative approaches:
1. Verizon will move lines within a building if a company wishes to transfer or sell their existing ISDN account to another company. I’m told they will not move an account to a new address, even within the area code.

2. Verizon will install ISDN PRI circuits. (A PRI has 23 B-channels whereas a BRI has 2 B-channels.)  Monthly charge $750-$850. You also need terminal equipment ($5000 +) that “breaks out” BRI circuits to be used with your codecs. Of course for an individual this likely won’t be practical. But for a busy production facility, or group of facilities in the same building, this may be the way to go.

3. Go with Broadband Internet. Remember, get the fastest most reliable IP connection you can. Then,  to connect with ISDN facilities, plan on bridging. The IP codec landscape is still in flux, as upgrades and improvements are appearing regularly. The choice here is either standards-based (hardware codecs) or proprietary (software codecs such as Source-Connect or AudioTX.)

A voice actor in the suburbs is pretty much confined to #3. While IP codecs can be troublesome and latency prone, when the network conditions are favorable they deliver an ISDN-like experience.

I believe not being able to get new ISDN will be only a temporary disadvantage and the northeastern US may well be the leader toward the new frontier of live pro audio over IP. Gimme Bandwidth!

-Dave