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Assistance with ISDN

Hello all,

I currently live in a rural area and my options are limited with internet service. I found I am too far from the CO to obtain DSL and in speaking Verizon and some other internet providers to get a T1 out to my house would be insanely expensive. So my question is, for someone living near Gum Spring, VA - would I still be able to get ISDN service and if so, can I get the total cost per mo. to under 100 bucks? Need help please!!!

Temple, TX
You need to call your telephone provider and see if they even offer ISDN. You will quite often have to go through the business side as opposed to the residential services.

Your speeds will still only be 128k

If cell service is available, you might want to go that route. The $ amount should be comparable for better speed. One caveat is that if you do any online gaming, cell service is not your best choice. ISDN is good for gaming, but the updates will take FOREVER.

On top of the monthly cost, you will have to get the terminal adapter (modem). I literally just through my old stuff away last month, but you may be able to find someone on here that has one they will give you/sell you cheap.


Thanks so much. With ISDN (128k) would I be able to download Netflix, use Microsoft Lync / Live meeting for work and play first person shooter games?


Scratch the streaming Netflix deal. Mainly concerned with the following:

- I can effectively desktop share with people using MS Lync / Live Meeting. Typically with Excel docs.
- I can game - first person shooters, etc
- I can somehow share this connection with the rest of my family (1-2 other comps at times)

I have also found a good ISP and Verizon would be the telco I think. the ISP is stating the line speed is 128k up and down, and compression is used to get the throughput up close to 512k. Is this pretty good and in a non geeky sense what does this mean?

Temple, TX
I'm not sure on the first one. I have never tried to use that on ISDN.

Yes, you can game. Your ping should be very low. That being said, you won't be able to download any patches or updates with much speed at all. It will take hours, if not days, to update.

Yes you can share the connection, but any video or picture heavy site will drag everyone down to a crawl. I shared ours, and we just learned to deal with it. It was better than the 26.4k dial up we could get.

I would be suspect of anyone saying you will get 512k. Files that can be compressed will load faster, but pictures (example .jpg) are already very compressed and you won't see much improvement.

Hope this helps, and maybe someone else will be able to chime in with a more timely response next time. Sorry for the wait.

Milford, NH
·FirstLight Fiber
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications
reply to amszete
Couple of other things to think about. With ISDN you also get voice phone service and the system is able to switch between data and voice so when phone is not in use get 128kbps when phone is being used drops to 64kbps. Factor that in when thinking about cost.

As fozngoof See Profile posted be skeptical of claims abut massive increase in speed due to compression. That only works if what you are downloading is not already compressed. Since you are a gamer latency is important, compression adds latency so you may want to forgo it for that reason alone. ISDN being end-to-end digital has very low latency.

Getting 128kbps out of ISDN requires bonding the two connection, the ISP may change extra for that.

You may want to talk to your ISP and see if they offer IDSL. This is basically DSL but using ISDN signalling. Speed is slightly higher because there is no voice, 144kbps and you are not making a dialup connection.

You can share any connection, I shared dialup on our home LAN for many years. However now a days web sites are optimized for much higher speed and graphics intensive browsing can be a challenge at such a low speed.

Good Luck



Bon Aqua, TN
reply to amszete
ISDN was/is faster than my verizon 3g service here... it used to be decent then they changed something... When i called about it, they put in a ticket and got back with me that it was because I'm in a fringe coverage area.. Even though their maps say i'm completely covered with 3g service... Verizon lies about their coverage claims..

I wish I kepted my isdn for my home internet.. If terminal adapters was still being made, i'd probably go back to the service...


Vanleer, TN
reply to amszete
I am as rural as it gets, and a T1 runs me 350 , ist not as expensive as it was,