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What is ISDN?

ISDN [I*SD'N] n. 1. Integrated Services Digital Network. 2. A digital telephone service that provides fast, accurate data transmission over existing copper telephone wiring. 3. The way fast way to go online.

The Basics

ISDN is based on a number of fundamental building blocks. First, there are two types of ISDN "channels" or communication paths:

These ISDN channels are delivered to the user in one of two pre-defined configurations:

BRI is the most common ISDN service for Internet access. A single BRI line can support up to three calls at the same time because it is comprised of three channels (2B+D). Two voice, fax or data "conversations," and one packet switched data "conversation" can take place at the same time. Multiple channels or even multiple BRI lines can be combined into a single faster connection depending on the ISDN equipment you have. Channels can be combined as needed for a specific application (a large multimedia file transfer, for example), then broken down and reassembled into individual channels for different applications (normal voice or data transmissions).

What Do I Use It For?

ISDN offers the speed and quality that previously was only available to people who bought expensive, point-to-point digital leased lines. Combined with its flexibility as a dial-up service, ISDN has become the service of choice for many communications applications. Popular ISDN applications include:

Why Should I Use ISDN to Access the Internet?

More and more people are discovering that ISDN is the right Internet answer.

As the Internet becomes more and more information-intensive with graphics, sound, video and multimedia, your ability to take advantage of these new resources depends on the speed of your Internet connection. Can your existing connection handle these large files quickly and cleanly? Does it take forever to download files? Are your downloads frequently aborted because of transmission errors?

With ISDN, your Internet access is:

For More Detailed Information on ISDN

Please check out the following ISDN resources:

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