Naked DSL - How it Works
Summary: Naked DSL is a way to ditch your home phone line rental fee while still getting fixed-line DSL broadband.
Naked DSL is becoming more mainstream every day as consumers
desert their home phone landline, but still require affordable fixed-line
Let’s first pay tribute to the name. There are thousands of
technology products on the market, but few as eye-catching and memorable as
Naked DSL. Hats off to the technology marketers on this one.
‘Naked’ refers to the lack of home phone line rental
required in a Naked DSL plan. Usually, you need an active phone line to run any
DSL service, but with Naked you’re stripped of this commitment.
‘DSL’ stands for Digital Subscriber Line, just like it does
in the more-familiar acronym: ‘ADSL’. ADSL is the most common form of
fixed-line broadband internet connection in Australia, but as mentioned above
requires an active phone line to function.
Put our two terms together and you have Naked DSL – a fixed-line
broadband product that will deliver ADSL2+ speeds, but without the added
commitment of a separate bill for home phone line rental.
You’re not totally home free. Naked DSL plans tend to cost a
little more than a stand-alone ADSL/ADSL2+ plan, because the network operator
still has to incur the cost of activating and maintaining the phone line
running to your house. However, because you are not provided with a phone
number and subsequently only using the phone line for internet traffic, the
cost of Naked DSL is often cheaper than paying for phone line rental and ADSL
separately, or even cheaper than bundling them together in a special plan.
Typical ADSL connection / Broadband bundle
For a typical ADSL connection, the normal copper telephone
wire to your house is activated for broadband use at the central telephone
exchange, allowing for broadband internet service to your home. You then plug
an ADSL modem in to your wall to get your broadband, but you can still make
regular phone calls through your landline phone.
With all home phone connections in Australia, you ‘rent’ the
copper line to your house for a fixed monthly fee so that you can make or
receive phone calls. On top of this ‘rental’ charge, you then pay extra for the
calls you make using any one of a handful of schemes.
Now that your phone landline is activated and your ‘rent’
for it paid, you can pay for an ADSL/ADSL2+ broadband plan. In essence, you
have three billing events: line rental, the calls you make on your home phone
and finally your broadband bill. These are sometimes all bundled in to one
plan/bill from your carrier, which is aptly called a ‘bundle’ plan. Bundle
plans feature discounts of some sort that vary depending on the carrier.
The difference of going Naked
Money. With Naked you save money by not having to pay for
the line rental on a voice service (ie: a traditional phone line). The physical
cabling is still there, and is being activated, but is only being purposed for
You can still make and receive calls with a Naked service,
but you’ll be using something called Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). In
this case, your provider is now handling your voice service using the internet
and can charge for it as part of your internet package. The physical copper
line leading to your house does not have to be registered with the central
exchange for voice services, which translates in to savings for you.
These VOIP phones look and act just like a normal wireless
home phone. You dial out to any number and you’ll connect. You are provided
with a number for people to dial in. The only difference is that your phone
number will probably start with a different digit than you’re used to.
- You pay less per month. The naked nature means that you don’t
pay the standard cost of a monthly line rental
- You can still make voice calls via VOIP. Sometimes these
calls even boast better call rates than traditional services
- If you don’t want to make calls from your home at all (you
rely on a mobile phone), then there are plenty of plans that don’t include or
charge extra for VOIP
- If your internet connection drops out, or if you have a
power blackout, then you will not be able to make or receive calls
- Very occasionally you can find a Bundled plan for cheaper
than a Naked plan
Setting Up Naked DSL
The most confusing part of the Naked DSL product suite is what
you imagine might happen to your phone line if and when you cancel your phone
The answer is that you won't notice anything physical. The
copper line still exists into your house and your normal phone sockets remain
'as is'. You plug your new Naked DSL modem and VOIP router into the same
sockets as a regular phone. The difference that you'll see is that when you do
make phone calls, your calls will be routed over the internet. There may also
be some set up costs with your new Naked Broadband plan and a line activation
cost (depending on ISP and contract term) so be aware of that when deciding on
If you're ready to go Naked DSL, and looking to save on your
broadband bill, feel free to compare
Naked DSL plans.
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