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The nbn™ Rollout & ISDN Disconnection

The nbn™ broadband access network rollout is accelerating. Come September 2019, as part of the largest infrastructure project in Australia’s history – the National Broadband Network – ISDN services will be phased out.

Nexon Asia Pacific /
Business Internet and nbn

The nbn™ broadband access network rollout is accelerating. Come September 2019, as part of the largest infrastructure project in Australia’s history – the National Broadband Network –  ISDN services will be phased out.

What is ISDN?
Integrated Service Digital Network is a communication standard that allows the digital transmission of voice, video and data over the copper infrastructure that supports traditional phone lines. It was developed in 1988 and is the original high-speed internet service.

There are two common ISDN interfaces:
– A Basic Rate Interface (BRI), known as an ISDN2 service, providing two voice channels and used on small key systems and legacy video conferencing terminals;
– A Primary Rate Interface (PRI), known as an ISDN30 service, providing 10, 20 or 30 voice channels, used on larger PBX systems.

What’s happening to ISDN?
As broadband technology has improved exponentially over the last decade – the ability to deliver voice and video services over an IP network, using SIP and other protocols, has replaced demand for dedicated ISDN services. ISDN has reached an “end of life” use period in Australia and is being replaced by the newer technologies over the National Broadband Network (nbn). Most homes and businesses will need to migrate to the nbn™ by September 2019 with the existing network shutting down completely by 2022.

Is there any downside to migrating off ISDN early?
No, there’s not. There are in fact compelling business reasons to do so.  Migrating to SIP well before the Disconnection Date, means the business has a longer management window should any unforeseen issues arise.  It will also mean an improved voice service with faster speeds and reliability once the migration to fibre has occurred.  In terms of costs, the ongoing monthly cost of your Voice

Service should be less than your existing ISDN service (unless you are expanding your business).

If the business needs new equipment, then it needs new equipment. The only benefit in waiting is to include it in a budget, should the disconnection time-frame allow for that scenario.


What this means for your business.

The nbn™ rollout means better connectivity and speed to increase the efficiency of your business and the ability to save costs, facilitate scalability and compete at a global level. All businesses are encouraged to begin the migration process well before the planned deadline in order to ensure as little downtime and interference to routine operations as possible.

By engaging a managed service provider like Nexon to help you with the nbn™ rollout, you will be able to:
– Transition your ISDN service, and retain your business phone numbers
– SIP enable your current environment
– Migrate to a cloud calling platform

You also gain access to our in-house specialized expertise with:
– Unifying voice, message, video and audio
– Access to highly available, centralized SIP services
– Access to the latest technology
– Guaranteed voice and network reliability

What is the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)?
SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol that initiates and terminates real-time communications sessions including voice, video and messaging applications. This could be a single session voice call between two people or multiple sessions including video conferencing across entire teams over large networks.

Will I need to buy a new phone system?
It doesn’t mean that you need to buy a new phone system, however your phone system may not be compatible with SIP technology and you will likely need to invest in an SBC (Session Border Controller) to convert between SIP and ISDN interfaces.

Will I need an SBC?
An SBC provides interworking between different signaling systems, such as legacy ISDN telephone network interfaces and SIP. If you are not ready to replace investments in legacy contact center, interactive voice response (IVR) and PBX systems, for example, SBCs can be a cost effective way to deliver a replacement for ISDN interfaces securely over the NBN access network.

As you migrate voice, video and instant messaging to IP-based services an SBC provides security, interoperability, performance and scalability. The SBC acts as a voice firewall and can protect the internal systems from denial of service (DOS) attacks while supporting security features such as topology hiding and encryption for media content, such as phone calls, and signaling data.

How to prepare for the nbn™ rollout.

1. Take a look at your current systems and infrastructure.

Some of the key systems, services and equipment that may be affected are:

– Telecommunications and data services such as legacy internet and private connections delivered over legacy networks – ISDN, Frame Relay, Ethernet Lite BDSL, ATM, CustomNET or Megalink products.

– Business equipment and systems such as PBXs, key systems, monitored security alarms or cameras, fire alarms, lift emergency phones and medical alarms.

2. Talk to us about how we can help with your service migration.

Our migration plan includes a call with one of our in-house Managed Service specialists and covers three main areas:

  1. Your current communication requirements
  2. Identifying if your current PBX and/or ISDN system supports SIP natively
  3. Integrating some of our other solutions such as Unified Communications and Cloud Calling to utilise the full capability of the nbn™.

3:  Choose the right network provider.

You need to look at the following key areas when trying to choose the right network provider for your business:

  • Track record: The types of credible partners and clients your potential provider has worked with in the past is important. You need to verify if they have gained industry awards and recognition and achieved outcomes that are closely aligned with your own business goals, infrastructure and network needs.
  • Security: The selected network provider should be scalable, flexible and tailored to the size and risk appetite of organizations across various sectors. They should include services such as perimeter, email, endpoint and cloud security, enabling the safe use of applications.
  • Support: One of the key aspects of a good network provider is 24/7 support. You need to verify if they are in a position to give you access to on-shore and in-house specialists and certified expertise along with specialized processes and industry-leading technology.
  • Pricing: The questions you need to be asking here are:
    Is the pricing structure on a per-user-per-month basis?
    Does it include project management, training and 24/7 support and maintenance or are they charged separately?

4: Use a Specialist Managed Migration Service

In addition to our Managed Cloud, Network and Security services, Nexon is also an accredited nbn™ business adviser. We can facilitate your migration process along with supporting your entire digital transformation journey to ensure that you constantly improve operations while freeing up internal resources to focus on core business activities.