Here's an email that has been floating around about ISDN problems with AT&T


If you use ISDN, or you have clients or Talent that use ISDN, please forward this to them, and tell them to show it to whoever handles their phone service.  For about two weeks, some of us have been experience some real problems connecting via ISDN to certain areas of the country. Southern CA is the worst for me. I called Telos, and they told me I am not alone. It is a severe problem in some areas, and it is only affecting those who have long distance service through AT&T.  Telos says they can no longer recommend anyone use AT&T for ISDN long distance, and to switch to Sprint or MCI as soon as possible. (Telos tech support is 216.241.7225 if you want to ask them about it.)  It may take up to two weeks to make this change, but in the meantime there is a simple workaround. To force your ISDN session to go through Sprint, simply add the numbers 1010 333 to the ISDN dial up numbers.  For instance, if you normally dialing 1-555-555-1212 and 1-555-555-1213, instead just dial 1010 333 1-555-555-1212 and 1010 333 1-555-555-1213. I have done this several times, and my "problem" clients have as well, and it seems to work perfectly. One more warning that we all need to make some long-term plans for the demise of ISDN. It is 30-year-old technology, and a local AT&T technician told me many of the circuit boards in the local ISDN routing network are failing regularly from age.


What are your thoughts?

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Comment by ari ross on June 5, 2012 at 10:05pm

I am in the rare position of needing to dial out LD for an ISDN session tomorrow and have been trying to utilize the Sprint workaround (1010-333) and it's not working this time (used it a year ago no problem). I tried a studio and the Telos test line both with the same result: pauses like it's going to work... then the disconnect "fart":-) Anyone know if that workaround is still working with ISDN?

Comment by Andrew Heyl on February 24, 2011 at 3:23pm
Telos is pushing IP/DSL based boxes that are sure to be better in the long run BUT it's like moving from Betamax to VHS or HD DVD or Blue Ray.  Who will win the VOIP IP battle for format superiority.  Mean Time.  Telos is king and ISDN is still most trusted.
Comment by George Whittam on February 22, 2011 at 12:07am

Source Connect is definitely turning into a new standard in VO as an alternative to ISDN.  While there are other companies providing IP based systems for professional audio, none have put the effort in to support the voice-over community like Source Elements has, along with my assistance.  FYI, should you want to buy a license, I provide an extra level of setup support beyond what SE provides, for the same purchase price.  

Sprint or MCI are the only ways to go for ISDN LD service in the US.  

John Thompson, you are now in my contacts as ISDN expert.


Comment by Joe Van Riper on February 20, 2011 at 3:23pm
I'm the guy who always likes to have a "Plan B" in reserve for those inevitable days when Murphy's working overtime;  duplicate mics, duplicate audio interfaces, spare computer (a laptop for location recording), etc.  I bought into Source Connect basic (when it was still very glitchy) just to have something other than Ma Bell as a back-up to my ISDN box.  By the time I actually needed it for a session, their software upgrades had resolved a lot of issues and it worked very well.  A bit more latency than ISDN, but the signal was solid and, if anything, a bit cleaner than ISDN!  Over the past two + years, it has paid for itself many times over in similar situations. I'm glad I've found studios that are willing to give 'em a try, and wish they had kept their prices low enough to attract more users. ISDN is still a "must have", if you can get it, but it's headed for the exits and we'd better have something that'll fill the void when it happens! If anybody knows of another viable contender for that position, I want to know about it.
Comment by steve hammill on February 18, 2011 at 4:45pm

Sounds like ISDN EOL is approaching at AT&T. 

It will be interesting to see if they reinvest or consider the technology dead.

Comment by Melanie Haynes on February 18, 2011 at 3:42pm

"How many of you have used SC with an ISDN bridge, and what's your opinion on how well it works?"

I went the other route and had to use the bridge from my ISDN to a studio that only had SC in order to create my latest commercial demo.  Worked fine - just quite a bit of delay - more so than just ISDN to ISDN on that session anyway.


Comment by Dustin Ebaugh on February 18, 2011 at 3:25pm
ISDN is ok, if you can get it and it proves reliable.  But don't forget you can do a bridging session to ISDN with "Out of Hear" and a few other companies, utilizing Source Connect.  That's how I decided to go.  So far, without a hitch.  David, you're still one of my favorite people in the world.  :)
Comment by Scott Gentle on February 18, 2011 at 3:24pm

Sorry to veer off course from the original topic, but a quick question to the SourceConnect users here based on my earlier longwinded posting:


   How many of you have used SC with an ISDN bridge, and what's your opinion on how well it works?


To be clear, I don't wanna sound like I was trashing SC previously or that I'm a hired Skype fanboy, I'm simply relaying what I've heard from others in the field so far who've used both ISDN and SC.


For software now pushing $700 at a basic level (not counting the additional iLok hardware dongle you must buy separately), I'd have hoped to hear reports of better results and market penetration by now. But for the admittedly limited amount of random inquiries I've made so far, the feedback just hasn't been as glowing as I'd like to have seen...


Comment by Gerald McAlister on February 18, 2011 at 2:23pm
As it has been said many times... ISDN is currently entrenched in the industry, as it has been for a long time, but it is being outpaced by technology and will eventually be replaced completely.  The industry will eventually decide  on it's choice of the new technology that is available and that which is going to be available.  Skype is gaining in popularity, SC has some followers, and we remain to see what the future holds for even better technology.
Comment by John G. Thompson on February 18, 2011 at 1:57pm

I worked for several years at a company that manufactured, sold and supported ISDN equipment. I worked on ISDN issues with most US telco's and a few around the world. 


As such, I am familiar with the technology, the equipment and the how telco's operate. 


Anyone, ANYONE, that wants help on ISDN issues please feel free to contact me at



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