It’s no secret – ISDN is old.

Most telcos plan to sunset all ISDN networks by 2025 at the latest. Many have already stopped maintaining ISDN infrastructure, allowing lines to fall into disrepair. While it was once the best option for remote broadcasting, crumbling technology means that’s no longer the case.

And because the technology is obsolete, the few telcos that still offer ISDN connections charge a fortune to install new lines.

(A former ISDN user recently shared on Twitter that she’d spent £77,000 on her ISDN line over the years that it was in service. Ouch!)

ISDN was once the most reliable method to make a connection, but now there’s a better, more cost-effective way.

IP audio technology has now been around for over a decade, and it’s become as solid as anything else. A hard-wired internet connection can sound even better than ISDN, at a fraction of the price.

We’ve been guiding radio and voice-over professionals through the transition from ISDN to IP audio for years now, and we’re here to help.

Get inspired to take the leap with these stories from some of our successful users.

Ditching ISDN

When WTOP realized that it was time to get rid of ISDN, they decided to switch to Comrex ACCESS.

Learn more about their story in this case study video and see how Comrex IP codecs power the nation’s leading news station.

Remote Workflows Without the Expense

Oregon Public Broadcasting has been using ACCESS IP audio codecs since the first one was released in 2011.

“They allow us to go into parts of rural Oregon and broadcast the show from places that usually wouldn’t get a visit from a radio show like ours,” said Stephen Kray, sound engineer for OPB. “We’ve gone all over the United States to do the show with ACCESS units.”

When the pandemic hit, OPB was able to quickly get their hosts set up with ACCESS connections from home, without sacrificing audio quality. 

“ISDN is not an option, and it hasn’t been for a long time — it’s not possible to get a line without a good deal of planning from any provider. (Not to mention, it’s prohibitively expensive — one time, an ISDN line was accidentally left connected over a four-day weekend, and we were stuck with a $6,100 bill.) ACCESS has been a great solution for us because in addition to sounding great, it doesn’t come with a line charge.” 

Stephen Kray
Sound Engineer
Oregon Public Broadcasting

Read the story

Great Sound Quality over IP

Interlochen Public Radio is a public news and classical radio station that regularly broadcasts live concerts from Michigan-area orchestras. Because they’re transmitting live music, they need to preserve as much fidelity as possible, with no drops.

With BRIC-Link II, they’ve been able to get rid of all their ISDN connections, in favor of IP networks, while maintaining incredible audio quality.

“Our BRIC-Link II provides such great sound quality that it really does sound like the person being interviewed is in the same room as the host. It’s allowed us to replace the ISDN lines of the past which cuts costs as ISDN lines are becoming more expensive.”

Gary Langley
Chief Engineer
Interlochen Public Radio

Read the story

Ready to switch from ISDN to IP?
We wrote a primer on that. Check it out.

More ISDN to IP Comrex Success Stories

Keeping Georgia Public Broadcasting On The Air

“Comrex provides a solid, quality audio connection to remote locations. I’ve found it more reliable than ISDN connections and it’s relatively easy to use.”

Tom Barclay
Radio Operations Manager
Georgia Public Broadcasting

ACCESS Delivers College Sports

“I was originally taught to use ISDN, and I wasn’t sure what to do when IP codecs started to take over. I didn’t want to let go of my ISDN, but after getting some pretty simple instructions and diving into the user manual, I discovered that IP codecs are even easier to use than ISDN.”

Kevin Collins
Independent Engineer and Sports Announcer

Broadcasting from the Bahamas with iHeartMedia and CrossLock

“ACCESS lets us do more remotes than we could before. You don’t need a landline or an ISDN line – if you have a Wi-Fi connection or a network you can connect to with a Cat-5 cable, it’s good to go. It doesn’t get easier than that. If we had taken an ISDN unit it would have taken us hours to configure it correctly to work with the ISDN line on the island.”

Andy McDonald
Chief Engineer and IT Director
iHeartMedia Melbourne and Brunswick

KILT Stays Connected with Comrex IP Audio Codecs

“Because of repeated ISDN install failures, we migrated most of our local remote broadcasts to IP using Comrex Access 2USB codecs. Using CrossLock VPN with two cellular modems from different carriers, our remotes had achieved ISDN quality while reducing costs dramatically and removing install headaches entirely. We decided it was time to leverage Comrex IP technology for the Texans Radio Network.”

Robbie Green
Director of Technical Operations
Entercom Houston

ACN: ACCESS for the Field, BRIC-Link for the STL

“We purchased our Comrex ACCESS as a way to replace ISDN, and we’ve found it’s incredibly versatile. It makes it possible for us to broadcast from anywhere, as long as we have a strong internet connection. Generally, I prefer to plug it into a Cat-5 Ethernet cable, but if we don’t have access to that, we use a Verizon 4G LTE modem and it works amazingly well.”

Tom Read
American Christian Network

“Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk” with ACCESS!

“ACCESS has been totally reliable for us every time we’ve used it, and I trust the technology. While we have experienced dropouts from our internet service provider, ACCESS has always delivered high-quality audio for us over lower bandwidth than ISDN. I’m amazed that ACCESS sounds just as good as our ISDN lines, while running on only 40 kbps. It feels like magic.”

Bob Newton
Producer and Engineer
Jayhawk Radio Network

BRIC-Links Are a Slam Dunk

“We’ve saved tons of money with not having to install ISDN lines. These days, for an ISDN line, just for a one-shot deal it can cost you up to a thousand dollars — plus, they need to be ordered up to 90 days out. With BRIC-Links, if we’ve got an Internet connection, we can get on the air.”

Mike Sprysenski
Market Engineering Manager
iHeartMedia Orlando

Have questions? Send us an email! 

Interested in a demo? Request a loaner

Looking to buy? Find an authorized dealer.