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81. ISDN After 25+ Years. by Dave Immer 9/1/17

ISDN is looking stronger lately.

The ISDN long distance issue in the US is being addressed by Kristie Russell and her “ComTech Broadcasting Community Plan.” Contact her at krussell@comtechenterprises.net 800-394-1565.

And the IP to ISDN codec gap is being acknowledged by features available in the ipDTL app and by Source-Elements Virtual ISDN. Both developers have validated the lasting importance of ISDN by designing popular features that accommodate the need to connect with ISDN users. ipDTL deploys a bridge with the help of a rack of codecs. In the case of Source-Elements Virtual ISDN, it is an IP data-stream approach with no codec in the middle.

But some large-scale content producers refuse to use IP codecs, even if it’s over a VPN, citing the security weakness of IP and specify a no-bridge end-to-end ISDN connection for codec patches. ISDN is private and secure due to its dial-up circuit-switched connection.

Despite its unwieldy nature when trying to order, repair or modify ISDN, it is still viable and reliable technology. Recently I have ordered numerous PRI circuits and worked with sharp knowledgable techs at both the ISDN provider and the terminal vendor which made the entire installation easy and efficient. PRI pricing with a 36-month contract runs in the $450-$600 range for monthly access. For users with more than 1 BRI, changing to a PRI circuit, the equivalent of up to 11 BRIs, may be a cost-effective way to go.

ISDN continues to provide reliable, low latency, secure connections 25+ years after it became widely available in the US.

Let me know if you have comments about the long-lasting tech of ISDN. Thanks,

-Dave