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68. ISDN PRI Characteristics by Dave Immer 10/16/15

An ISDN PRI circuit terminates in a network appliance at the end-user premise and is managed locally. This gives you the ability to confirm the settings, make corrections if needed, and save the configuration. With option modules you can designate various 64kbs channels as ISDN BRI ports, POTS phone groups, IP access pipes, among other functions.

PRI circuits cost about $600/month. With a Quad BRI module you get 8 ISDN numbers and when broken down, that is equivalent to $150/month per BRI. Along with the monthly charge, there would be a 1-time expense of buying the network appliance ($4000 incl. module) and start-up tech support ($750.)

While running a PRI circuit is more expensive than a BRI (usually), the good news is that it is widely available due to telco’s eagerness to sign up customers for service costing $500 or more per month coupled with configuration details falling to the end user. (In some regions of the US BRIs are costing over $500/month, so from a user standpoint the Monthly Recurring Charge can be about the same comparing BRI to PRI.)

PRI is all you can get if your neighborhood is strictly fiber.

If you work with production studios who eschew broadband internet and insist on ISDN, and you can't get a BRI, or it's too expensive, a PRI may be your best option.

Comments and questions welcome.

-Dave