If you count yourself among the millions of Australians who want to ditch their home phone landline in favour of a mobile phone, but who still require affordable fixed-line internet, Naked DSL could be exactly what you are looking for.
‘Naked’ refers to the absence of home phone line rental in what's required to connect to a broadband internet plan. Usually, you need an active phone line to run any DSL service, but with Naked you strip away this commitment.
‘DSL’ stands for Digital Subscriber Line, just like it does in the more-familiar acronym: ‘ADSL’. ADSL is still the most common form of fixed-line broadband internet connection in Australia. Put our two terms together and you have Naked DSL – a fixed-line broadband solution that will deliver ADSL2+ speeds, but without the added cost of a home phone line.
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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. Once this is all setup, you plug an ADSL modem in to the wall to connect to the internet, and a landline phone handset in to make phone calls.
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.
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 days providers will bundle all of these services together into a single monthly fee.
Keen to find a Broadband Bundle with everything included?
Check out examples of the Most Popular Bundled ADSL Plans
The difference when going Naked
In short: money. With Naked you may 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 internet traffic.
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 telephone calls travel across the internet as data, rather than an analog signal over the copper phone lines.
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
- You may find Bundled ADSL2+ Internet plans for cheaper than a Naked plan
Ready to Get Naked?
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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 service.
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 Naked DSL.
Where are all the Naked DSL Plans?
Despite the numerous advantages of Naked DSL, it is a technology option that has lost a lot of support from the internet service providers. Today, only about 5 or 6 providers offer Naked DSL services, and only in a selection of locations.
Instead, most providers simply absorb the cost of the home phone line in the monthly price of internet plans. When you compare ADSL2+ and Naked DSL plans, you will often see very little difference in price. In fact in a number of cases, ADSL2+ plans are now cheaper.
This creates confusion for a number of broadband shoppers, who become confused by the terminology. They do not want a home phone service, but are forced to pay for 'home phone line rental' to use an ADSL2+ internet plan.
It is important to remember that home phone line rental and a home phone service are two different things. When an internet provider offers to bundle 'line rental in with your internet plan, they are doing you a favour. Otherwise, you have to go to Telstra and organise this separately.
For more information about how this works read: Do I need a landline for broadband?