Will DSL Really Get Naked?

from the believe-it-when-I-see-it dept

For years, many people have been asking for "naked DSL" -- the ability to get DSL without also having to pay for phone service. While Qwest became a supporter of naked DSL early on, the other big telcos refused to budge. They would either say there was no demand, or they would announce it, delay it and then not really offer it -- even as they claimed they did. Even better, was BellSouth, which tried to jump on the naked DSL bandwagon by offering something totally different and calling it naked DSL. So, with that in mind, we're still a bit skeptical whenever the big telcos say they're going to offer naked DSL. Broadband Reports notes that AT&T and Verizon are now required to offer naked DSL, as part of their various merger agreements. However, it's still not clear exactly when this will happen, or what form it will take. Given how hard the telcos (with the exception of Qwest) have fought this, it's likely that the eventual naked DSL offerings may be "naked," but will have so many strings attached, that they'll feel pretty well clothed.

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  1. identicon
    Brit, 21 Mar 2006 @ 12:30pm

    I would welcome the idea

    I moved from DSL to Cable, so I could get set up on a VOIP service that would save me $20/month over my DSL & local phone service from SBC (now AT&T). Plus the VOIP gave me two phone numbers, unlimited local/long distance and all the features that I would've paid a lot more for if I added it onto my SBC account. So I am really saving even more money. If I could get DSL w/o the local phone service, I might switch back especially if they keep the lower rates they are advertising now as that would mean even more savings for me. Bring it on as you might get my business back where as now you get nothing AT&T. OK, you get some from my Cingular phone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Chris, 21 Mar 2006 @ 12:52pm

    Verizon has it

    I actually have naked DSL with Verizon. There was a catch, a 1 year agreement, but the cost is $19 a month, the speeds are excellent and I didn't have to get a phone line. If you call their DSL order number directly you can usually work your way to it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    David, 21 Mar 2006 @ 1:18pm

    Sprint doesn't

    I live in a smaller town (Gardner, Kansas) where the local phone is run by Sprint (soon to be Embarq). They have no competition, so the cheapest option for DSL, is $49 a month, plus local, and long distance phone. So in actuality to get DSL it is around $100 a month. The other option is Road Runner through TimeWarner, which mysteriously is also $49 a month, they have a wimpier RoadRunner 'lite' (750kbps) for $25.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Scott, 21 Mar 2006 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Sprint doesn't

    The same can be said here in Stoneville NC. But, at least you have a Time Warner option. If you want high speed net access where I live it's either Sprint (because they don't open their infrastructure to anyone else) or satellite internet. Either one is waaaaay over priced. And like you said, Sprint won't let you have a naked DSL. To get DSL, ya gotta have dial tone too...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    jtw, 21 Mar 2006 @ 1:36pm

    Its not all that great

    I setup "naked" dsl here at work, and its not all its cracked up to be. Qwest limits the speed to 1.5Mbps, and since they don't attach it to an existing phone line, you have to have them come out and install a line for you. That means having to work with Qwest's telephone installer people. The 3 times I've had to do anything through them in the last 6 months, they've managed to screw something up, or forget to show up, each time. Perhaps Verizon's version is better. Qwest's sucks, at least here in Portland

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Mike Liveright, 21 Mar 2006 @ 2:48pm

    Partnered ok, Naked not-needed

    I don't mind paying for phone service to get DSL support and though I understand the people who want Naked DSL, possibly because they want to get their phone service via VOIP.

    On the other hand, I think it is ESSENTUAL that we have competation for content and contend delivory. Thus it is OK if the phone system provides the wire but I think it is desirable to be able to have another vender use these wires, at a reasonable cost, to deliver the DSL part of the service. That way it is more likely that there will be competation for DSL rates, services, and if needed content availability.

    The phone system should be paid for, whether the DSL provider is them or a third party, for the wire, but allow us to have the flexability to use a partner for DSL, etc. service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Todd Henkel, 21 Mar 2006 @ 3:40pm

    So who will go in front of the FCC and explain in simple terms what "naked DSL" means and how the shell game is actually being played?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Mar 2006 @ 4:03pm

    Couldn't get naked DSL ...

    So when Verizon started offering FIOS in my area of Los Angeles, I dumped my DSL (saving me $75 per month for DSL and phone line) and hopped on the FIOS bandwagon, which cost $30 per month and had no installation fee in exchange for a 1 year agreement. Been up and running for 2 months now with no problems or complaint.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Woodchuck, 21 Mar 2006 @ 4:31pm

    Qwest in Colorado for over a year

    I was directly involved in this type of roll out in Colorado with Qwest and the state lottery. they are uttilizing a private DSL network of over 1000 sites for the terminals with over half of these locations running on "naked DSL" aka "StandAlone DSL".
    The original product offering from Qwest required a minimum loop qual of 1.5 that was eventually dropped and they are still offering the product to the lottery network provider. This was done for many reasons but the primary being locations that wanted to use indepent carriers for service in Qwest territories (McLeod, etc.). This meant that dial tone was leased and service via traditional delivery was not available, but due to the CO copper to the premise still being owned by Qwest as long as there was an available pair it made for the perfect product. It also eliminated many of the false posative quals that can occur on traditional loop qualifying. There are many benifets to a product like this, ranging from a seperate enterprise product offering allowing for seperate SLA's, to multiple offerings at a single premise that would normally only have one TN, to allowing the continuation of "convergance".
    As far as the post "Partnered ok, Naked not-needed by Mike Liveright " I would have to disagree, as you can see just by the quick examples there are many other reasons other than VOIP to have this service aailable. Just to be clear I am not saying the choice for a copper TN should go away, rather that the choice of how to have the product I am purchasing be served to me. The reason that the major telcos have not embraced this is simple FEAR, they would rather deny a new technology that could transform there industry than embrace it as a new product offering, with new benifits, markets, and add-ons. They fear it because they only see the ecrochment of the VOIP market instead of seeing the transformation of the entire network provider, telco, and overall communications network market.
    There are many other reasons this is a needed product offering this is just a sample, I have deployed networks in over a dozen states and countries using technologies ranging from wirless to satalite to DDS, to DSL and others, the benifitial offering, cost efficency, and overall product potential of "standalone DSL" practicly demands and screams for the consumer world to demand this product from the telcos.
    And as far as the difficulty of install don't let them lie to you, you is from the premise perspective no differant to install than traditional DSL, in some cases additional IW may be needed but the is a minimal expense and or hassle as long as you DON'T have the provider do it.
    Just my 2 cents on a subject that brings my passion out, those that read tis and know me will immediatly recognize the woodchuck and know that often I will hold my tongue but on this and a few other subjects I'll take anybody to task...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    CS, 21 Mar 2006 @ 4:32pm

    In Boston

    I have what they call a "dry loop" in my apartment in Boston from Verizon --their technical name for naked DSL. It's finally working correctly after it took them about a month to install it (in metro Boston mind you) correctly. Moreover, there are a lot of hidden rules that they force on you if A) you don't get a yearly contract and B) if you have a dry loop too. Billing is suddenly much more difficult and they seem to generally dislike selling it to you.

    Not really naked yet after all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    freakengine, 21 Mar 2006 @ 4:40pm

    Who wants a land line anymore? I don't get it. Even VOIP seems somewhat silly to me. I have great wireless service, so why would I pay for a land line I never use?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    CalBEAR2007, 21 Mar 2006 @ 5:08pm

    I agree with what freakengine said about going wireless only. Here in Northern CA, my service (Cingular) is great and I have no complaints. But I also need my broadband fix. So what you do is a little negotiation with the cable company to get them to lower your rate, then just sti back and enjoy the ride.

    Here is an example of how that works: AT&T is currently offering DSL for $17/month for 3000 down/512 up. That equates to $6 per Mbit per month. If you tell them that you will switch to AT&T if they do not drop your cable to the corresponding price or lower, you will bolt. Since Comcast in my area offers 5 Mbit, your monthy price works out to be $30/mo. This works whether or not you are a TV subscriber (trust me I have done this both ways). If one CSR refuses, just call back later; eventually, someone will approve it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    jdw242, 21 Mar 2006 @ 6:35pm


    what does your wallet say they will do?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Stoolio, 22 Mar 2006 @ 3:43am

    Re: Partnered ok, Naked not-needed

    When I divorced a few years ago, I had to give up my beloved Fiber line that Bellsouth offered at my home.

    When I moved up the road I called Bellsouth and asked if I could get Fiber at my new home. They said yes, but I would be required to also buy phone service. This was not DSL.

    I did not need a home phone because of my cell phone.

    IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT VoIP vs POTS! Home phone service is a waste of money to people like me.

    I said no thanks and got Comcast cable. Which I loved more than my fiber.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    another Anonymous Coward, 22 Mar 2006 @ 4:02am

    nekkid DSL r0x0rz

    Yeah, so I see at&t as actually liking the whole VOIP thing. I think they've come to terms with the fact that it's here to stay and that it will be the next big thing...but! and yes, there is a big BUT...they are trying to control the shape of the industry. They want the industry to go where THEY want it to go and not where consumers want it to go. Eventually, there will be no such thing as dial tone anymore. I know this because I work with an un-named company that is helping at&t build out their fiber network to the node and even further out to the premises. FTTx is where it's going. Once everything is IP based in a light pipe, then you will have no need for dial tone. It'll already be 1's and 0's so it only makes cense to sell VOIP to your customers with "naked" DSL...and a whole lot of other services.

    That is truly where the industry is going and right now T and VZ are the front runners to take us there. If you live in Texas, then feel lucky because that's where both companies' infrastructure build outs are beginning. VZ already has thousands of real customers up and running on fiber and T is trial testing it now with plans for full roll out later this year.

    Qwest is a front runner for the nekkid and the VDSL, but they aren't building enough fiber infrastructure to keep up with the big boys anymore...which sucks for me as I live in a Qwest operated state.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Agonizing Fury, 22 Mar 2006 @ 6:46am

    Well, I have to say that this story and the comments make me love my telco even more. I have had DSL since 2001 with Coastal Communications and have never had a real phone line. I have had my cell phone since 1999 and never had a reason for a real land line. I guess that's one of the advantages of dealing with a LEC instead of the big phone companies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    jdragon, 22 Mar 2006 @ 1:42pm

    phone companies are scammers

    Give us naked DSL NOW!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2006 @ 6:18am

    naked from verizon, but not verizon bureaucracy

    i just ordered dsl for a residence in NYC from verizon. i live in a new apartment building in battery park. the building is fancy and has all the amenities, but they did not install jacks for the cable tv and telephone lines (just the white plastic covers over the holes in the walls that lead to the wires).

    i called verizon to get dsl and at the same time requested them to come out and install a wall jack (for $199). the rep who took my order had a problem with making my request fit into the system since 1) it was a new building, and 2) I was only getting DSL. Eventually, he said his manager helped him beat the system and it took the order. He scheduled my wall jack service for 1 week later. the box came w/in days.

    well, that day came for the technician to install the jack and no one showed up. i called back and they said there was a signal problem. They asked me to give them a week or so to resolve it. they said they would give me a call back.

    Meanwhile I started getting calls from a verizon recorder saying my dsl service was setup and to call them if I have any problems. I called verizon to get an update and they transferred me to the dsl call center in Ireland (truley clueless reps...if you don't use the service you shouldn't be talking about it) and they said my dsl was activated.

    It seems that when i called to complain about the technician not coming out to install the jack, they thought i was talking about activation.

    i had to explain to them that it was great that it was activated but i still cannot get to it...i still don't have a jack. i was transferred from the dsl call center in Ireland, who said it was a local telephone office problem, to a call center in the US, who said it was a dsl problem since i had ordered naked dsl. the US rep then transferred me back to Ireleand.

    I asked the rep in Ireland to stay on the line while he transferred me back to the call center in the US. He did and I held on the line for awhile while he spoke to the US call center telephone rep. They seemed to have worked things out and I was able to get on the service schedule for jack installation...but 1 week later as the US rep said he couldn't override the schedule in the system.

    Verizon naked dsl is available, but they are still working out the bureaucratic kinks. you also must accept a telephone number (not a usable one) as your account number. this telephone number is also not portable to Vonage. This is another example of not having made the bureaucratic step to naked dsl.

    the technician is suppose to come today to install the jack. if you he doesn't come, you will hear from me again. I ordered naked dsl around 10/1/2006..today is 10/26/2006.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    MANO, 1 Dec 2006 @ 7:30am

    Re: Verizon has it

    How did you get naked dsl?..I barely found out about it. I've been doing some research on it but when I call customer service they dont know what Im talking about. Does Verizon offer naked dsl everywhere or just in your area? What state do you live in?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Carlito, 9 Dec 2006 @ 11:48pm


    It is not called "Naked DSL" It is actually called by Verizon to be "Dry Loop". I alos have ordered Verizon DSL 3.0mbps Dry Loop and I hope nothing bad goes because I am scheduled for an appointment on Wednesday12/13/06. I too live In New York.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2007 @ 10:50am

    Yes i agree

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2007 @ 10:51am

    for real

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    jen, 17 May 2007 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Verizon has it

    what if i do not have any phone line at all and no phone jack too? are they going to install a phone jack for me to get dry loop dsl?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Jason, 13 Oct 2007 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Partnered ok, Naked not-needed

    Tax payers alredy paid for the lines to homes, that is why everyone should have access to them

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Grouchy, 3 Jan 2008 @ 10:53pm

    ATT Dry Loop in SF but be ready to pay the price

    If you want to be an early adopter of this, be ready for some pains b/c AT&T is making it miserable for me to transfer. But we need enough early adopters to tell AT&T to screw off and unbundle their services…

    I live in San Francisco and had AT&T High Speed, placed the order on 12/24/07 for $23.99 dry loop service. What a joke. They screwed up my order and so didn’t place it (after telling me it’d take two business days to get done). The originally scheduled downtime happened (on 12/31) but the uptime sure hasn’t yet. It was planned for 1/2 but on 1/3 I checked and found out that the “order hadn’t been placed”. WTF?

    Currently no department wants to take responsibility to get this done, even though someone there screwed up the order.

    They first told me it’d take 2 business days, now they’re saying 5 biz days from the date of the “fixed” order and that “Dry Loop cases don’t have escalations because they are not a priority.” (I’m appalled that they can say this with a regretful tone - it’s condescending)

    Customer service reps are sweet but ineffective - if AT&T wants to keep its techier clients they need to get with the times. This is 2008 and Silicon Valley - play nice before the Google gets in on your turf.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    bill pryor, 16 Jan 2008 @ 10:54am

    bad dry loop in MO.

    I totally agree!!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    jimmy, 26 Jan 2008 @ 2:17pm

    Just finished 2 weeks of screw-around to get dry-loop in San Francisco. Long story short- they "accidentally" activated a different pair coming to my house. This took several days and many phone calls. But, the guy showed up and essentially swapped my "old" pair for my "new" pair- and away we went. But, the speed was much slower. Before dry loop, solid 2.5M. After dry loop, solid 1.7M. The "front line" DSL folks just said "hey, it's within the 1.5-3.0 limit". So, after several calls, transfers, yelling, etc, I got to a lovely & helpful person (Pat), and she said- "oh yeah, it's turned down on our end. Let me fix that." 5 seconds later and our 2.5M was restored. Working fine now. Not really worth the pain & minimal savings vs. the phone/DSL bundle, IMHO. ;-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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