Black Box Explains...ISDN Basics..
ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network. It’s a high-speed digital data service provided by most phone companies. With ISDN you can transmit large amounts of data, voice, and video signals up to 128 kbps over a single phone line.
The most common (and least expensive) ISDN service is Basic Rate Interface, or BRI. It’s usually used to combine voice and data circuits over one line between small-scale ISDN sites. BRI consists of two 64-kbps B channels plus a 16-kbps D channel to support system “overhead” functions, such as signaling the telecomm switching system to initiate a call.
What makes ISDN unique is that each B channel is a separate communication circuit. That means just one ISDN line can support simultaneous two-way communication for two devices, such as a computer and a telephone or a computer and a video camera for teleconferencing.
If you need to send more data than one 64-kbps B channel can handle, ISDN also supports BONDing for inverse multiplexing. This links the two B channels into a single logical circuit that can support data rates up to 128 kbps.
ISDN lines are terminated at your location with a special RJ-45 jack. There are two main interfaces. The U interface consists of two wires (one twisted pair) and is common in North America. The S/T interface consists of four unshielded wires (two twisted pairs) and is more common outside North America. Unless you already own U-compatible ISDN phones or PCs, you’ll need a terminal adapter to make the connection.
ISDN is the perfect choice when faster data rates, lower prices, and guaranteed data integrity are required. Consider it for high-volume datacomm applications such as Internet access and on-line service, telecommuting, remote-office routing, and disaster recovery. Also consider ISDN for a high-speed backup line—because you never know when you’ll need one.