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Notes from the Field: Michelle Ann Dunphy's ISDN experience

ISDN is an old technology which has very firm roots in the voice-over industry.  While it does the job very well of providing a virtual mic cable from a home studio to a client, the telcos which provide the service would rather it go the way of the telegram.  Just getting a person on the phone at ATT or Verizon who even knows what ISDN is poses a challenge and a test of patience.  Michelle Anne Dunphy learned how difficult it can be last fall when she placed an ISDN order with ATT herself.  Michelle thought she asked all the right questions, and the representative led her to believe that she knew what was required and all was in order.  

She called me in to get her vintage Telos Zephyr (from Ebay) programmed and connected into her home studio. I made the trek down to Irvine and spent the afternoon installing her equipment and programming the Zephyr. When we were unsuccessful getting her Zephyr to stay connected to another studio, and ATT told us nothing was wrong with her service, we had to assume the Zephyr was to blame.  A few weeks and hundreds of dollars later, she got her Zephyr back, and over the phone I talked her through re-programming it.  When we had the same results, it was back on hold with ATT again to get to the bottom of the issue.  

As it turned out her service didn't include the critical data channel needed to send bits over phone lines.  Once that was resolved, everything worked like a charm.

What's to take home from this?  DON'T TRUST THE PHONE COMPANY!  Hire an expert to order your ISDN service for you.  

ERS recommends Dave Immer of to handle your ISDN ordering and codec configuring needs.  The peace of mind and time saved is ABSOLUTELY worth the service charge. 

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