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49. Verizon Centrex Loophole Keeps ISDN Alive In NE USA    12/12/13   by Dave Immer

Recall that on May 18, 2013 Verizon pulled the plug on new ISDN BRI installations in the northeastern US states. This created a brief flurry of concern  among studios and VO artists who began to come to grips with the prospect of using IP codecs.

On Sept. 9 I emailed an account executive at Verizon an impassioned plea for keeping ISDN going. I cited the important production work and interviews that ISDN makes possible. I pointed out ISDN’s superior reliability compared with the public internet. Then on Sept. 18 that account executive contacted me. He said that new ISDN BRI service can be ordered in New York and surrounding states served by Verizon providing it is “overlaid” on business Centrex.

In September I ordered a Centrex/BRI line from Verizon on behalf of a customer. It took the normal 2 weeks for the order to wend its way through the system and get verified. Installation occurred 2 weeks later - again, a “normal” waiting period. The line tested good with no problems and behaves exactly like any other ISDN BRI circuit, except to dial out on the second line a "9" must first be entered.

My understanding is that this Verizon policy extends to other regions in the US as well. And providers such as AT&T, CenturyLink and Frontier still offer new ISDN installations.

So through a wonderful account management sleight-of-hand, Verizon continues to offer new BRI circuits in the NE US. ISDN lives!