Broadband ISDN (B-ISDN)

Definition of Broadband ISDN (B-ISDN) in Network Encyclopedia.

What is B-ISDN (Broadband ISDN)

B-ISDN (Broadband ISDN) is the broadband transmission counterpart of Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). Broadband ISDN (B-ISDN) encompasses a set of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) standards and services designed to provide an integrated digital network for audio, video, and data transmission.


Instead of using the copper media used in ordinary ISDN, broadband ISDN uses fiber-optic and radio media. Broadband ISDN is designed to use the cell-switching transport technology of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) together with the underlying physical transport mechanisms of Synchronous Optical Network (SONET).

Broadband ISDN standards and technologies are an emerging option for high-speed networking that promises the capabilities of high-speed digital connectivity for homes and businesses.

B-ISDN History

Before B-ISDN, the original ISDN attempted to substitute the analog telephone system with a digital system which was appropriate for both voice and non-voice traffic. Obtaining worldwide agreement on the basic rate interface standard was expected to lead to a large user demand for ISDN equipment, hence leading to mass production and inexpensive ISDN chips.

However, the standardization process took years while computer network technology moved rapidly. Once the ISDN standard was finally agreed upon and products were available, it was already obsolete.[citation needed] For home use the largest demand for new services was video and voice transfer, but the ISDN basic rate lacks the necessary channel capacity.

To learn more: ITU I.150 Recommendation: B-ISDN asynchronous transfer mode functional characteristics

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