by Mike Masnick

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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Mark, 19 Jun 2006 @ 4:53am

    Why doesn't TechDIrt believe in open markets?

    I read article after articel on TD about how the big, bad, mean, nasty old teleco's and cable co's lie in an effort to cheat consumers and the markets. Isn't one of the main concepts of an open market that the natural consumer pressure will drive a market to meet the needs of the consumers?

    So if this is the case why is it that no one has come in and challenged AT&T and others on not offering naked DSL? Let me preempt the majority who always respond wiyh how the incumbents all received federal subsidiees. First that is BS for the most part. The teleco subsidies for copper do not appply to fiber and the cable companies are self financed for the most part. Next, and far more important, is that there are other options available. Take WildBlue for instance. If people only want naked DSL than why not go to an alternative provider like WB, and there are plenty of others, and order only that service? If that happens than the telcos would be forced to react, m ost likely prices will be cut and we could all see the power of a free markete economy. But it hasnt so therefore I dont see why there should be any other conculsion other than a bunch of blowholes like to write about this stuff to make a point that the actual consumers are unwilling to make on their own.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.