ISDN Shutdown – Will it Affect You and Is your Business Ready?


Nick Olsen


With the rollout of the NBN and the migration from traditional copper lines to a high-speed fibre network, it was always inevitable that significant changes would occur to our telephone systems.

From the 30th of September 2019, Telstra will commence the discontinuation of ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) with all services to be fully decommissioned and shut down by 2022.

Bearing in mind that many parts of Australia are still waiting for access to the NBN, did we think this transition would occur so soon?

Recently, NBN Co. announced that 200,000 Australian businesses would need to migrate off ISDN technology. Are you one of them?

First of all, what is ISDN?

ISDN is a service that provides telephone lines to your premises. It is particularly useful for large call traffic due to its ability to handle multiple incoming and outgoing lines, thus enabling multiple connections at once.

What is ISDN?

Secondly, why discontinue?

As a traditional telephony method, ISDN generally relies on copper cabling and traditional fibre methods to carry its signal. With the rollout of the NBN, the ISDN network is no longer a feasible method for maintaining our communications as we are now sharing and distributing larger chunks of data at faster rates.

Essentially, these changes are simply infrastructure upgrades and part of the evolution of Australia’s telecommunication infrastructure. The same thing happened when our television switched from analogue to digital and our internet was upgraded from dial-up. We need faster internet and phones and the current infrastructure won’t be able to keep up forever!

Thirdly, how do I know if my company uses ISDN?

Whether you are the CEO, IT Manager, or anyone in between, it is essential that you understand what infrastructure you utilise to determine if there is an upgrade path available. 

Here are some quick tips: 

  1. Check your service agreement and bills 

  2. Request the services of someone like Netway Networks to provide you with a recommended solution 

Regardless if you are utilising the ISDN network or not, now might be the right time to audit your current infrastructure and determine next steps.

What’s next?

To ensure your business is not affected by these changes or that you are getting the most from your telephony system, it’s time to reflect on your current business processes and where you want to be going forward.

Act now. Most businesses leave things to the last minute. Therefore, Telco’s like Telstra will inevitably have a bottleneck of companies looking to migrate as the use-by-date approaches. Taking action now will ensure that you will not have any disruption to business as usual.

Our Recommendation:

If you are affected by the shut down of the ISDN network, you will need to utilise one of the following services:

  • IP Telephony 

  • SIP

We recommend IP Telephony or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). IP Telephony operates by transmitting signals over the internet rather than through analogue phone cables or ISDN. Additionally, VoIP has a significant number of other benefits. Please see our blog, Business Benefits of Cloud-Based Telephony (VoIP).

VoIP will only benefit your business, even with its most basic functions, resulting in the same functionality as your previous system but with the option for significantly more advanced features, if desired.

If you are unsure whether these changes will affect you, or whether you need to make a move, you can take advantage of our free consultation.

Nick Olsen Netway Networks

Nick Olsen - Solutions Consultant, Netway Networks

With over 10 years of experience working in IT system design, implementation and support, I am currently working with the PNORS Technology Group as Solutions Consultant, primarily with the established and growing customer base in our Netway Networks business.

My background includes management and sales roles in marketing and communications, IT hardware supply and maintenance, Unified Communications and roles with telcos, Telstra, Primus Telecom and AAPT. I know I can add value when working with clients and prospects to uncover opportunities to drive sustainable growth and strategies to implement the right technology to provide efficiencies and save money. 

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