What is ISDN, why is it coming to an end, and why should I care?
What is ISDN?
Stands for "Integrated Services Digital Network." ISDN is a telecommunications technology that enables the transmission of digital data over standard phone lines. It can be used for voice calls as well as data transfers (internet), just like an ADSL phone line in your home.
However, just like ADSL connections being used to provide broadband, ISDN is an old technology.
Why is it coming to an end?
BT have decided to stop providing this service.
There are now faster and more agile services available, so BT have decided to stop preserving legacy networks that cost a lot of money to maintain.
As such, they will be converging all services into one network instead of spending money to maintain several.
Why should I care?
Your school or college is most likely serviced by ISDN lines; only those schools that are newly built or have had significant rebuild areas in the last couple of years would have been made fully aware of the situation.
The impact is not only on the physical phone lines you have, but the handsets you currently use. Most will not be compatible with the new way of providing telephony services.
What is the new alternative?
In a word (or acronym): VoIP
VOIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, or in more common terms phone service over the Internet.
Option 1: Hosted Telephony
Hosted telephony is a telephone system in the cloud rather than in your school. Users access the system through a standard IP handset or a softphone. Calls are made and received over a broadband connection.
Option 2: On Site Telephony with SIP
As with a hosted telephony solution, a broadband connection is used but with SIP trunks but the physical telephone system is located within the school. This removes the need for physical phone lines, therefore allowing schools to streamline their methods of communication and, most importantly, reduce costs.
What are the benefits of switching to VoIP?
Cheaper line rentals and call charges
Better quality than Analogue (PSTN) and Digital (ISDN) lines
Increased call fraud detection
Easily scalable up or down
Minimum 25% saving on your existing telephone bill
What should we do?
BT have announced that from 2020, ISDN networks will not be purchasable, and the plug will be pulled completely on ISDN and PSTN circuits by 2025. This may seem a long way off, but most organisations are planning for that eventuality now.
So if your current telephony contract is due to expire within the next few years, now is the time to explore alternatives to ensure future-proofing as well as improving solutions and saving money.
We are able to provide expert advice on telephone lines, broadband, handset provision and all aspects of virtual telephony solutions.
Why not email us to book your free, no obligation 15-minute chat? We’ll even call you!