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ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network

   
   

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a set of communication standards for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network services over the digitalised circuits of the public switched telephone network.  ISDN has largely been replaced with digital subscriber line (DSL) systems of much higher performance.

Prior to ISDN, the telephone system consisted of digital links like T1/E1 on the long-distance lines between telephone company offices and analog signals on copper telephone wires to the customers, the "last mile". At the time, the network was viewed as a way to transport voice, with some special services available for data using additional equipment like modems or by providing a T1 on the customer's location.

With ISDN allowing digital-quality voice, two separate lines and all-the-time data, the telephony world was convinced there would be high customer demand for such systems in both the home and office. This proved not to be the case.

ISDN becomes ADSL

ADSL quickly replaced ISDN as the customer-facing solution for last-mile connectivity. ISDN has largely disappeared on the customer side, remaining in use only in niche roles like dedicated teleconferencing systems and similar legacy systems.

 
   
   
 

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Last modified: June 28, 2022