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ISDN - It Still Delivers Networks

Date posted: 17/04/2011

ISDN ('integrated services digital network') is a digital telephony standard that was created in the 1980s to cater for the emerging needs of data communication across the telephone network and allowed seamless mixing of voice and data on a single line. While the average consumer continued with plain old analog telephony, the network core inside a telecommunications carrier and all the business connections tended to use ISDN.

ISDN promised a lot, but in the end, didn't deliver for the consumer as technologies such as ADSL were cheaper and more efficient to roll out. This made ISDN the but of as many telco jokes as I can think of like ISDN - It Still Does Nothing.

However, there are still many, many ISDN circuits in production in Australia today for both voice and data. We have quite a few users who still use ISDN Internet access with us simply because they have no other viable choice. Forget dial-up, these are the real neglected users of the Australia Internet.

When I speak to our ISDN customers (almost all of whom are rural and regional businesses), they all tell me the same thing - ISDN is more reliable and cheaper than wireless. The latency and jitter is lower which allows them to use Internet telephony, the service is business grade ensuring quick fault resolution times and our data quota is unlimited for an equivalent ADSL type price. Their standard telephone service is integrated with data and the quality is as expected - toll.

I took five of these ISDN users at random today and looked at the NBNCo coverage maps. Each and every one of them will be covered by wireless. I can't imagine they'll be very happy. About 4 years ago, Telstra pulled the rug from under them, discontinuing an inexpensive ISDN product and forced them onto a more expensive one. No matter, for most of them, they persevered with ISDN. Now, NBN is coming along and will completely discontinue their copper line and force them onto the very technology they've paid a premium to avoid - wireless.

We're a great advocate of wireless as a mobility service and a consumer service for those with modest Internet needs. However, if you're running a business, you need a reliable, consistent fixed line service at your primary place of business.

I wonder if any of these customers voted labor on the impression that they'd be getting fiber access? I hope not, because they'll certainly feel very disappointed.

So ISDN, almost 30 years on - It Still Delivers Networks.

You can learn more about ISDN here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_Services_Digital_Network


AFACT, Beagle, Competition, Copyright Infringement, Dialup, iiNet, IPv6, ISDN, NBN, Technical, Telstra, Uncategorized,

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