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At the end of the year, BT is set to remove Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) services from consumer use. ISDN enabled a pay-per-use service, similar to a telephone, and had identical upload and download speeds of 64 kilobits per second. It proved very successful in the early days as customers were restless with dial-up and needed faster speeds.

"We are withdrawing consumer ISDN," said a BT spokesman, "the demand for it has dived with the availability of cheap, fast broadband."

With broadband getting bigger and more popular, 50% of UK Adults now have broadband with an average speed of 3.8Mb/s according to Ofcom figures. However some still believe that the ISDN service is still essential to their jobs. Also many customers use ISDN as a back up for their broadband services in case of problems.

It seems that broadcasters will suffer the most, as the technology is discontinued all over the world, leaving broadcasters the dilemma of what to replace it with. Broadcasters have found it useful when filing reports away from base, with one advantage being that its upload speed is the same as its download speed. Also it is not affected by slower connections at busier times.

For outside broadcast work, IP services can cause latency problems, which can cause problems when trying to hear a reporter speak due to delays in the sound transmission.

However for general consumers there is no problem with the withdrawal of the technology and it is sure to help boost broadband sales as BT can spend more time establishing better lines for speed and reliability.

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