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ADSL v ISDN – which should I use?


What is ADSL?

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. ADSL is a modem technology that transforms ordinary telephone lines into high-speed digital lines for ultra-fast Internet access. ADSL also enables access to corporate networks for telecommuters, as well as new interactive multimedia applications. ASDL can be used via a standard phone line and ADSL modem. This will give you a much faster and direct access to the Internet.

Will ADSL replace ISDN?

ADSL is intended to provide much better access to facilities such as Video and music, thus enabling better video-conferencing facilities over ISDN. The main limitation at present will be whether your local BT exchange has been upgraded to support ASDL.

Obviously the two services are not the same, ISDN provides two voice channels over a 128 Kbps data channel while ADSL is a data pipe providing asymmetrical bandwidth of up to 8 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream under good conditions.

ISP's such as Freeserve are currently in partnership with BT offering services such as FreeservePlus for Home (single pc)or Business (multiple pc) usage.

Costs for such as service are at present, (but may vary between ISP and phone service):

Home Service:

  • £39.99 per month (inc. VAT)

£150.00 Installation charge (inc.VAT) for 0.5Mbs connection.

Business Service:

  • £99.99 per month (exc. VAT) for 0.5Mbs
  • £139.99 per month (exc. VAT) for 1Mbs
  • 189.99 per month (exc. VAT) for 2Mbs

The installation charge is £260.00 (exc. VAT)

In time ADSL could phase out ISDN as do all technological advances, at present, the costs of these services will dictate as to how long ISDN is here to stay and to the uptake of ADSL.


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