The NBN rollout is well underway and the ISDN services that power most Australian business communications will begin the disconnection process in September 2019. With the disconnection period initially planned for the summer, Telstra and the ACCC have pushed back the disconnection date with a last-minute extension, giving Australian organisations some time to make the switch. To avoid a sudden disconnection, businesses using ISDN services need to upgrade to SIP Trunking before the cut-off date ASAP.
What are ISDN services and why are they being turned off?
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is the primary form of telecommunications for Australian businesses, powering communication services such as voice, fax, and even video. ISDN Services are categorised as “Special Services” by NBN and are scheduled to be disconnected to make way for use as part of the National Broadband Network. Because of the ISDN shutdown by Telstra, businesses must look to alternatives for communications such as SIP (Session Initiated Initiation Protocol).
SIP and ISDN are both digital communications protocols, however a core difference is that SIP is IP-based, allowing it to run over existing data networks, like a Wide Area Network or Internet service.
While SIP has been available for many years, ISDN has remained popular as a reliable and cost-effective communications service for small and large businesses alike. SIP relies on a well-optimised data network to function at its best, like such as a QoS enabled MPLS WAN. Now that high-speed bandwidth is more readily available, upgrading to the next-gen voice technology is now a business imperative.
Because of the ISDN disconnection in Australia — What do you need to do before upgrading to SIP?
Because SIP can run over an existing data network, it enables organisations to be more scalable and versatile, quickly adding lines and trunks where needed, all the while using existing infrastructure. Before an organisation can migrate their voice platform from ISDN to SIP, there are some network requirements that you must first address.
- Phone System compatibility - Is your phone system able to support a SIP voice service?
- Data network bandwidth – Does your business internet or WAN service have enough bandwidth to support voice services?
- Quality of Service (QoS) - For best voice quality, a QoS enabled data service is preferred.
- Firewall – Ensure your firewall is configured to support the SIP voice service.
- SIP voice provider –Find a service provider that is able to provide SIP services that are designed for businesses.
Benefits of ISDN shutdown
Once the ISDN communication lines are phased out, cloud communication services will be the default vehicle for businesses and individual communications. The silver linings of the ISDN shutdown are the additional advantages that cloud-based communications can provide companies. Cloud service options give cost savings and efficiency benefits, along with the ability to scale quickly.
ISDN lines only allow for a limited range of communication options, primarily serving the traditional phone call. These barriers are pushed aside with the use of cloud-based SIP services.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
Old digital networks will be discontinued going forward (much like the ISDN shutdown) — The time to cut-over is approaching, and designing the right solution for your business can take time. You will need to act soon in order to avoid having your phone services disconnected.
31st January 2018 – Telstra stopped selling new ISDN services to wholesale and retail customers
30th June 2018 – Telstra issued a “stop sell” to all retail and wholesale customers for ISDN2, ISDN2 Enhanced, ISDN 10/20/30, DDS Fastway, Megalink and Frame Relay products
30th September 2019 – Disconnection will commence for existing ISDN connections
By 2022 – The ISDN network will be fully decommissioned.
How can VoIPLine Telecom Help?
Whether your organisation runs in a small office, or you have an extensive network of sites spanning the entire country and don’t want to suffer from ISDN shutdown in Australia, VoIPLine Telecom can assist in getting your business SIP-ready. We specialise in designing, provisioning and managing the secure, high-speed SIP, Hosted PBX and Unified Solutions platforms. For those who are ready to migrate from ISDN to VoIP services, we want to offer absolutely free porting with a 24-month term contract. Please, contact us either via email, phone call or a chat window on the right bottom corner and our specialists will assist you with every step.
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