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ISDN takes center stage at CMA's annual conference this fall.

It's heartening to see a prominent organization like the Communications Managers Association help nudge ISDN. We tend to judge technologies, as people, by their friends, and CMA is a good friend to have.

CMA will pay special attention to ISDN in its annual conference, Telcom 91, Oct. 15-17 at the New York Hilton and Towers.

Al Bieber, CMA secretary, says for the ISDN showcase, "We would like to involve as many of the carriers as possible, and the full array of vendors developing voice or data products."

Nynex, which recently came out with a tariff for basic rate ISDN, is the anchor for the showcase, which aims to present an extensive demonstration of ISDN's capabilities, Bieber says.

"This is a good opportunity to demonstrate ISDN desk to desk," says Bieber. "We want to set up real demonstrations that make sense in an overall network perspective."

At last fall's CMA show, Bieber notes, France Telecom, Teleport Communications, and AT&T cooperated in a trans-Atlantic ISDN demonstration. He would like to see this year's demonstration focus domestically as well as internationally and be just as impressive.

Besides the showcase, ISDN sessions will be included on the educational side of the conference, and an ISDN banner carrier will be a featured speaker.

That is John Seazholtz, chairman of the ISDN Executive Committee for the Corporation for Open System, and Bell Atlantic's vice president of technology and information services. He will address some big "A" questions about ISDN -- availability, advantages, and applications.

Bieber doesn't use ISDN in his corporate telecomm work, but says he has watched it develop over the last several years, and he is "a long-haul believer."

"We really think it has reached a point where it is approaching a reality," elaborates Bieber. "It's more than just something being tested within each RBOC. It is close to a networking capability that can help a company that does business across the country as well as across the pond."

Good news, bad news

ISDN is seeing pretty even distribution among such diverse categories as the Fortune 1000, stage government, and universities.

That's the good news. The bad news is that even in those hotbeds of ISDN penetration, only one in 50 companies, agencies, or school is putting ISDN to work.

These figures emerged from a Computer Intelligence study of ISDN usage, which observes optimistically that "acceptance will come as the technology matures."

The charts that accompany this column show the penetration of ISDN and its distribution among regional Bell operating companies. As far as the penetration, ISDN's 2% foot in the door in the Fortune 1000, state government, and universities is twice the level of the interest by the Forbes 400 and federal government.

Planned use of ISDN does make those bars look a little more respectable, but even at that we're still talking only one out of 25 corporations seeing a use for ISDN now or in the immediate future.

But hey, we're optimistic too here at CN, and we would have to go along with the Computer Intelligence observation that "ISDN usage will grow significantly over the next few years...success will result from economics, availability, and innovative applications."

Success will also come when it is crystal clear to users that using ISDN will benefit their companies. Showcasing ISDN in a well-attended conference such as the Communications Managers Association's can only help.

On the RBOC side, Illinois Bell's leadership in ISDN implementation no doubt accounts for Ameritech's commanding 21% share of its distribution among the seven operating companies. US West brings up the rear at 11%, but there is still a pretty even distribution among the other six RBOCs.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:integrated services digital network, Communications Managers Association
Author:Tanzillo, Kevin
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jun 1, 1991
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