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Are You Fully Prepared For The End Of The ISDN Era?

Image Australia’s communications network is fast approaching a major milestone. Unlike many other changes in the past, this is not one where new technology will be switched on, but rather old technology is being turned off. ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) has served its purpose very well, and countless homes and businesses have relied on it for over 25 years now. With all the technological advances in the past few years, it is certainly time to take this major step, but do you know if you’re prepared for this move? Could your phones go dead in just a few months’ time?

What Is ISDN Used For?

ISDN was a major breakthrough in the 90s when it allowed for multiple different types of communications to be transmitted over the traditional phone system. Basically, you could combine voice, video, and data without requiring multiple phone lines for each protocol. For small and medium-sized businesses, it was an ideal solution to connect to the Internet and still be able to use the same phone lines for making voice calls. It significantly reduced costs and has been quite a reliable technology. Surprisingly, there are still tens of thousands of ISDN connections in active use, despite much more reliable options having become available.

What Is Actually Happening To ISDN?

Let’s break things down into a timeline of events:
  • January 2018: New ISDN connections are no longer available for installation. June 2018: No new ISDN upgrades and expansions available to existing customers.
  • September 2019: Existing ISDN disconnections will start to commence gradually.
  • December 2022: Full disconnection of the entire ISDN network. While the September date doesn’t mean that every single existing ISDN user will be immediately disconnected, there is still a significant risk that within a short space of time, your business could lose all phone and Internet communications.
Telstra is contacting existing customers with more detailed timelines, focusing initially on those where fibre connections are already available. But the advice from the team of engineers here at Fixtel is not to waste any time and take the necessary steps to switch to alternative solutions sooner rather than later.

Why Is It Being Turned Off?

With the introduction of broadband, fibre optic, and cloud-based technologies, the ISDN network has simply become outdated, slow, and quite a maintenance bottleneck for Telecom companies. It’s also no longer as reliable as the alternative options and with data intensity of voice, video, and Internet communications drastically increasing every single year, the capacity for ISDN to be a viable long-term solution has passed.

What Are The Alternative?

Fortunately, there are high-tech solutions ready to take over and provide businesses of all sizes with a communications infrastructure that is future-proof and highly adaptable to existing office phone and data systems. Many businesses have been postponing the inevitable due to fears of complete rewiring needs, but in reality, the solutions are often much simpler with no need for any major disruptions.

Here are the 2 main options available:


The National Broadband Network has been Australia’s plan for bringing high-speed Internet access to all homes and businesses throughout the country. The rollout of this service is well underway, and unless you’re based in a particularly remote location, the chances are that you can easily upgrade your systems.


For enterprises with very large data needs, the NBN could actually pose a bottleneck risk. However, with fibre optic connections available in many urban areas, there are excellent solutions available to bring both high-speed and high data bandwidth capabilities.

Impacts To Phone Systems

This is another concern for businesses with significant investments in their office phone systems. With onsite PBX equipment still very common, the issue of integrating them with new types of Internet connections is certainly something that has to be addressed. The good news is that the majority of existing phone technology still in use, is fully compatible with all types of Internet connections with relatively few configuration changes needed. At the same time, taking the opportunity of replacing ISDN is also a great opportunity to consider switching phone services to cloud-based solutions. Bringing your business to the cutting edge of communications technology has never made more sense — both from a reliability and return on investment point of view.

Contact Fixtel Today

Here at Fixtel, we have a team of engineers and technicians on standby to fully analyse your current system configuration to come up with an implementation plan that suits your current and future needs. By working directly with you on planning and executing this implementation, you can ensure that there are minimal business disruptions in the process. It can be a seamless process that won’t put your profitability at risk. Contact us today to speak with one of our advisers and make sure that you are fully prepared for an event that cannot be postponed.

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