Ma Bell Is The Latest To Mock Naked DSL Requirements

from the no-rules-on-price,-huh? dept

As the debate surrounding the telcos has lately been focused on net neutrality, another issue that is a result of the lack of competition in the space has slipped back under the radar: naked DSL. Most of the telcos (Qwest being a notable exception) require that any customer who wants a DSL line also has to buy phone service from them as well. This is what allows them to claim they charge only $15 or whatever for a DSL line, but if you add in the phone service and additional fees it tends to be much higher. It's never made much sense that the telcos are so against just offering plain old naked DSL without the phone service. After all, for people who just want to use a mobile phone and/or VoIP, isn't that only going to encourage them to go to the competition who won't force them to bundle an unwanted service? Oh... right. There isn't much competition, which is what allows the telcos to get away with the bundle. For quite some time, there's been some pressure on SBC/AT&T to offer naked DSL in California, but the company has resisted, claiming that no one wants it (which is laughable). However, as part of the SBC/AT&T merger, one of the requirements (and basic admission that the new company had monopoly powers in some areas) was that they offer naked DSL. Not surprisingly, they looked for loopholes. They didn't take the misleading route of Verizon in announcing they offered naked DSL when the fine print showed they they really didn't, but rather went with the strategy of (1) not telling anyone they actually offered naked DSL and (2) jacking up the prices of naked DSL so that it's only $1 less than if you ordered DSL and a phone line. Yes. One whole dollar. AT&T offers a bogus response to a reporter asking about this, claiming miraculously, that the naked price "accurately reflects the real cost of DSL." If that were true, it would mean the company is selling almost all of their DSL lines at a loss -- which is ridiculous for anyone who can do a bit of math.
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  1. identicon
    Chris, 19 Jun 2006 @ 8:10am

    Naked DSL

    I have been extremely lucky with my area. I live near a major junction of telco's so I have been able to get decent service for quite a while. I am currently using what is locally referred to as DSL2 where I get 5mb service for 39.95 **"Naked" DSL for 39.95** This is only because this company covers the majority of my state. They are offering VOIP as well and are working pretty well faced with the compition of 4 major telcos and 1 cable company. The cable company still requires service for thier "cable internet" and the telco's all charge a HIGH premium unless you minimum get thier 400 call service. Free market does exist out there but if the companies didn't get out there early and keep up on techology they quickly loose out. I pay slight more for my internet for "Non-lineshare" but I don't mind that because I don't have to contend with the telco crap. I have a VERY nice reliable high speed connect EVEN when I hear my friends complaining that SBC is down or Comcast is screwing up again, and I don't have to pay $50 plus a month to get it. Encourage your local providers, support them even if they are a little more expensive and suddenly the big providers will start to take notice.

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