ISDN is a communication method, primarily using pre-existing telephone lines, that allows telephone lines to transmit more than just voices from person to person. More specifically, ISDN allows packets of data to be transferred between parties on the network. This network was the original high-speed internet service and has lasted for over 30 years. Recently, BT announced that the ISDN network was to be shut down, and that could have significant ramifications.
Why switch it off?
Quite simply, ISDN is becoming increasingly unviable. Whereas the old telephone network was able to transfer significant amounts of data, it’s not quite as efficient as a network which has been designed for data transfers from the beginning. BT have been installing fewer and fewer ISDN cables, with no new installations taking place in London since 2014 and the number of installations across the country falling as a long term trend. Alternatives, such as ethernet-oriented products, are becoming cheaper and cheaper whilst permitting for even more efficient data transfers.
Instead of the old methods, alternatives such as WebRTC telecoms have emerged. These are cloud-based communication methods that allow users to have conversations over the internet rather than through traditional cables. The cost and viability of cloud-based telecoms has made old-fashioned ISDN cables redundant, and when they cost more and do less, there’s no reason for BT to keep supporting them.
How could it impact my company?
A significant amount of companies still rely on old lines. If your company operates in a less populous area or is geographically remote, then the odds are that you’re operating on the old ISDN lines. Once BT removes their support for these lines, if you have any issues then you’ll likely be left with no network connection. At best, you’ll have no support for situations in which your internet connection has physical issues and in the long run, it could cost you a lot. A significant amount of companies could bump into communication issues which can cut them off from clients, or even their own branches. Without making a shift away from ISDN in your company, you could face significant issues and the costs of being outdated will eventually build up.
What do I need to do to stop this damage?
Most importantly, you need to make sure that your company is ready and able to move over to a cloud-based system. Whether you want to use Web RTC, Avaya IP Office or another communications system, getting away from relying on ISDN will be vital to your company being prepared when the shut down comes in 2025. Call us today on 01625 466600 to discuss your move from ISDN to SIP.