ISDN and ISPs help please


Junior member
Hi all,

I cannot get broadband so my only route to higher speeds and reliability is ISDN.

Believe it or not, BT say that many ISPs (including themselves) limit the rate to 64k and they will not tell me who will accept ISDN at 128k - they say they can't be seen to be showing favour to anyone. Look in the Yellow Pages they say!!

Can anyone help please with a provider(s), preferably free access as the BT ISDN 24/7 at £17 pm seems fairly priced, who can accommodate 128k?

Thanks in advance
Have a look here:

Demon was the only one I could think of off the top of my head but I seem to recall (from when I was looking for the same) that they are quite pricey. Anyway there are lots at the link above who it says does 128k ISDN.

Before you go for the jump though have you actually tried 64k ISDN? and what are you intending to do with it? 64k ISDN is actually quite a lot faster than a dial up and did me fine before I got ADSL. Doing huge downloads/movies/MP3s etc. may not be great but for general surfing, running D4F spreadbet apps, e-mail etc. I can't say it was terribly different to the experience I get now.

You could take a look for a list of possible suppliers here:

I'm more or less in the same situation as you at present and I use at the moment. Basically, you'll get 24/7 Anytime access for about £15.00 per month - you'll need to reconnect every two hours; but thats the only limitation as far as I can see.

Avoid BT Anytime because they've set a limit to the numbers of hours that they'll give you for your monthly fee - I think this restriction stands at about 150 hours per week. This is smoething to look out for with other ISPs too.

I can't see why any ISP would want to restrict you to 64Kb rather than 128Kb because you'll be paying for access via the second line line at their standard rates - whatever they maybe.

I hope this helps.


I also dont get broadband yet, and so have to use ISDN. My ISP is Demon, slightly more expensive, but I never get cut off which is absolutely essential for day trading. I do not have any problems with only being able to use 64K - we have 2 computers connected and there is no problem with speed of access, and it is a massive improvement on using an ordinary phone line.


I use for £12.99 / month unrestricted. You do get cut off after 2 hours though.

BTW, on my ISDN connection I use software compression and always get connection speeds of 115 200 bps. In real terms this is considerably faster than 64K but obviously not as fast as 128K.

Unless you are downloading masses of data or binary files this should be sufficient. THen of course if you are day-trading and need an uninterrupted connection then the only way is to pay for it.
Thanks to everyone for their responses.

Saved me hours of research for which I am very grateful.

Hi Nastyitch,

The speed of 115200 bps is not the ISDN connection speed but is the speed your serial port (which is connected to the ISDN TA/port used by Internal TA) is set to. A known bug i'm afraid.

That said ISDN single channel is considerably faster than Dial Up Modem connections, especially if using a soft modem.

Of course if you use two channels (128K) expect two call charges. This is the reason ISPs that charge a fixed amount per month limit you to a single channel.

It looks as if I spoke too soon (see above)! I've just received this email from tiscali:

"We notice that you have had extremely high usage (over 150 hours a month) on your AnyTime package every month for the last three months. Unfortunately your current level of usage is adversely affecting the service we can offer other users. Please ensure that you significantly reduce your usage (below 150 hours a month) or we will have no choice but to terminate your AnyTime access account at the end of the month (May 2003), in accordance with our terms and conditions. "

Does anyone know of any retail IPSs that provide unrestricted access with their anytime packages with their ISDN service? I know that Freeserve are supposed to, but they don't do ISDN!

Thanks in advance

oatman - this is a thread about where to get ISDN and eclipse do not have an ISDN service - at least that's what they told me.

Have you checked out satellite?
Whilst BT aren't cheap this area is expanding - the next 12 months should see more players (we're mainly at the 'by November we will have...' stage currently) - but if fast download/56k upload is okay then prices are getting much better. Broadband seems to be stepping up a gear this year, 3 months back I thought ISDN was the only choice for me, by April BT had announced my local exchange will be ADSL'd in June....
I use freeserve for 64K ISDN (2 hour cutoff) and Surfanytime for 128K (4 hour cutoff). However, Surfanytime is expensive and connection can sometimes be slow and difficult. Freeserve always connects virtually instantly and I may drop Surfanytime.

Fast24 look reasonable, they do 128K ISDN, 4 hour cutoff, and 7:1 contention ratio for 200 hours per month. £18 per month.

may try them out and if OK will drop Surfanytime which is £35 per month.
Someone has just reminded me that do a package for £12.99 per month, but I'm told that this will be going up to £13.99 at the end of the month.

Onetel's package provides for an unlimited service and there are no other fees. However, they reserve the right to cut you off after two hours usage, which is par for the course these days.

Thanks for the tip about Freeserve, Roger. I last looked at this about six months ago - when I was forced to move away from BT - but they were not offering ISDN at that stage.

IMO This is real cat and mouse stuff and I can hardly wait until we get "broadband" in this neck of the woods.


Mayfly - Same here for darkest Devon, but at the last count only 17 had registered for ADSL on our exchange and BT want 400, so not holding my breath! I think that you'll find freeserve's 64k ISDN a massive improvent over dial-up modem, and unless you want to download massive files (software, music etc) you'll barely notice the difference from 128K.
I would've thought you'd support Eclipse. Your neck of the woods...Exeter.
Hi Roger,

BT will be upgrading our local exchange on 9th July 2003 and not a moment too soon.

They were more generous in our case, setting the trigger levels at 300. We achieved this level of registrations in about two months, although this is probably due in the main to "our" local campaign for broadband - you can read more about the campaign here:

We're also agitating for the introduction of a Wireless Network and we're hoping that we'll see this rollout out at the end of May.

In which case, we'll be going from famine to feast if we're really lucky - and I'm waiting to see how things pan out.



PS I forget to mention that there are no tie in periods with Onetel, which is important to me in the light of the imminent arrival of broadband in my area. :D
local trigger set at 400, 5 takers showing and months later we still hadn't topped 10... 8 months or so later I check and suddenly it just says we're getting it 6 June! You can never tell really, I think dodgy accounting is involved at some point but we definitely went from 'no chance' to 'book now' in a heartbeat!