If the only reason you have a landline telephone is the internet, you might want to consider naked DSL. After all, why pay for a service you never use? To help you save money, we've gathered the ten cheapest offerings in this category so you can finally put the "house phone" out of its misery.
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In December last year, Internode switched from a tiered plan structure to a single option for its naked broadband offering -- 1000GB for $69.99. While a massive shift from Internode's modus operandi, it syncs with quasi-owner iiNet's plans, so no real surprises there. However, current Internode users looking to change their plans, it does come with a caveat -- all content is metered.
"Going naked" sadly isn't as raunchy as it sounds: it means getting an Internet broadband connection without an associated phone line, saving you the cost of line rental. But which providers offer naked plans, and what issues do you need to consider? Find the right deal for you with our up-to-date roundup of available naked DSL options in Australia.
One clear trend in the Australian broadband market has been a shift towards plans that count both uploads and downloads in their monthly allowances. Once largely the domain of Telstra, these days it seems everyone's doing it. Adam is the latest to join the fray, offering three new AdamEzyChoice plans that use that model.
When we looked at naked DSL options in Planhacker last week, Internode's plans looked pretty good. With a price drop of $10 to $59.95, the Easy Naked plan looks slightly more appealing.
Back in January, we encouraged readers to take part in the annual broadband survey conducted by legendary broadband community Whirlpool. The full results (based on 23,683 responses) have now been published: here's ten of the most notable findings about the state of broadband in Australia.
Naked DSL -- a broadband connection via a phone line but without paying a line rental fee for the associated voice service -- is an increasingly popular strategy for saving money on communications costs. Going naked can help cut down your monthly bills, but before taking the plunge there are some key issues you'll need to consider.
On our recent story about the death of the landline phone, commenter Jason asked about the procedure for setting up naked DSL. The exact steps needed for setting up will depend on which provider you choose (you can't just choose to set up naked DSL in a vacuum). However, a useful starting point for that is to know who currently offers a naked service. These are the providers I'm aware of (in alphabetical order).
It's not surprising, but it's interesting to see it backed up by a study: people are no longer bothering to sign up for a landline when they move out of home, preferring instead the greater flexibility of a mobile phone. According to research by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, there's a clear pattern: older people stick to landlines, but younger people (especially those aged 24-35) are largely driven by mobile phone use. While I don't fall into that age bracket, I must admit the only reason I haven't got naked DSL at my place yet and dumped the landline is a combination of laziness and some problems with the DSL part of the equation. Have you dumped your landline -- and did you get a barrage of relatives complaining you were too expensive to contact? Share your experiences in the comments. Pic by Holger.Ellgaard from Wikimedia Commons ACMA
Internode today rolls out its Ultra plans, which combine its existing Naked DSL broadband and VOIP plan with a regular phone connection -- meaning you can dump your current landline plan, still have the security of a standard line if the Net connection dies, and even migrate your existing phone number. The service is available from today in metropolitan areas, according to Internode (and existing customers can migrate across from another plan if they wish). Prices start at $69.95 with 5GB of downloads -- not bad when you consider there's no line rental involved and Internode hasn't yet joined the upload-counting crowd. Internode Ultra
If you've been considering canning your landline in favour of naked DSL and a VoIP phone - here's a potential issue to think about - your ISP may shape your VoIP calls when you exceed your bandwidth allowance. This was flagged as a potential issue by Internode's Jim Kellett, in an interview with PC Authority. Word to the wise - check the fine print!
Internode has become the latest ISP to offer 'naked DSL' - and they've promised another new service later this year which will let you have a conventional phone, but without paying a separate line rental charge. PC Authority wrote up the announcement here. Internode boss Simon Hackett is quoted as saying the line-rental free service, called Internode Ultra, won't have upload fees, unlike the similar package offered by Optus Fusion.
When we posted about iiNet's introduction of a naked DSL service last week, we didn't notice that iiNet has decided to count uploads towards your bandwidth allowance - something pointed out to us by eagled-eyed commenter Sethaan.
Gizmodo has expressed some concerns about this nasty trend over here, and taken a look at Whirlpool's take on the issue.
Like a few people, I'm quite interested in getting rid of my landline phone and it's accompanying monthly fee, but being charged for uploads sours the offer somewhat. Hopefully when more naked DSL services come online in the new year, they'll nix the upload charge.
So would being charged for uploads be a deal breaker for you? How important is it to get rid of the landline, anyway?