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What is Basic Rate Interface (BRI)?

Basic Rate Interface (BRI) is an ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) configuration that provides a digital communication link over traditional telephone lines. ISDN is a set of communication standards that enable the simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network services over the public switched telephone network (PSTN) or other networks.

A Basic Rate Interface consists of two B channels (Bearer channels) and one D channel (Data channel). Here's a breakdown of the components:

  • B Channels (Bearer Channels):

    • B channels are used for carrying user data, which can include voice, video, or data signals. In a BRI, there are two B channels, each operating at 64 kilobits per second (Kbps). Therefore, the total bandwidth for both B channels is 128 Kbps (64 Kbps + 64 Kbps).

  • D Channel (Data Channel):

    • The D channel is used for signaling and control purposes. It operates at a lower speed compared to the B channels and typically has a bandwidth of 16 Kbps. The D channel is responsible for setting up and tearing down connections, as well as managing other signaling functions.

In summary, a Basic Rate Interface provides a digital connection with a total bandwidth of 144 Kbps (2 B channels at 64 Kbps each plus 1 D channel at 16 Kbps). BRI is commonly used for small to medium-sized businesses and residential users who require digital connectivity for voice and data services.

BRI is distinct from Primary Rate Interface (PRI), another ISDN configuration that provides a higher capacity with 23 B channels and 1 D channel in the North American standard (T1) or 30 B channels and 1 D channel in the European standard (E1). PRI is typically used by larger organizations with higher communication needs.

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