Since last November, when iiNet very loudly launched its naked DSL product, "naked" has been on everybody's lips, and it seemed like everybody was in on it. Some, however have held out. This round-up of 13 of Australia's largest internet service providers looks into who's got naked already, who doesn't and who wants to.
Naked DSL refers to ADSL broadband that is sold without an attached analog telephone line. Some providers sell Naked DSL with attached internet telephony phone lines, which provide phone calls over the internet.
|ISP||Offers naked DSL?||If not, when?||If yes, how popular is it?||What's the verdict?|
|AAPT||No||Undecided||N/A||"We think with the price point that naked's gone out at, it's going to be difficult for [providers] to make money," says David Yuile, general manager networks and technology. "We think naked's got a place, but it's got to settle," he added.|
|Adam Internet||Yes||N/A||One third of all sign-ups||"It's a really cool new product, but lots of people don't understand it," says MD Scott Hicks, referring to the necessary loss of internet and communications for around 20 days. There was also confusion about the savings. "The real cost savings come from making calls," he said.|
|Amcom||Yes||N/A||Five to 10 per cent of monthly sales||Take-up is not as dramatic as for competitors such as iiNet, who have been "thrashing it in any way possible", according to an Amcom spokesperson.|
|Eftel||No||Will be offering it soon||N/A||"You'll find more and more people just want the bare line going into their house," a spokesperson says, although they admitted the loss of internet for 20 days had caused consumer backlash for companies like iiNet. "I think the people who are choosing to move are willing to put up with the downtime," they continued.|
|Exetel||Yes||N/A||Naked DSL accounts for almost 50 per cent of total ADSL2+ orders||"Naked DSL has a formidable threat from 3G. With 3G prices continually falling, why wouldn't someone use their mobile as a modem at home, and away from home?... [But] users who download more than four gigabytes per month will need to use DSL," says an Exetel spokesperson.|
|iiNet||Yes||N/A||25,000 and counting||"The train's started and has just kept on going," says Greg Bader, iiNet CTO. "We made iiNet synonymous with naked".|
|Internode||Yes||The next few months will see Internode offer naked on its own DSLAMs||Third of all sign-ups||"It's sold better than we were expecting it to," says Jim Kellett, product manager. Operating from the company's own equipment over unbundled local loop, Internode will now be targeting those people who live over four kilometres from an exchange. "We've been quite staggered by the potential number of customers," he says.|
|iPrimus||Yes||N/A||In the thousands. Single digit per cent of total sales.||CEO Ravi Bhatia says it doesn't save people money. "It's a marketing furphy ... I feel very queasy about marketing it, because what am I offering? It's very smart marketing, because it's a smart name."|
|Netspace||No||Later in the year||N/A||"Obviously it's got its limitations," MD Stuart Marburg says. He has a monitored alarm system which precludes him from using it.|
|Optus||No||Unknown||N/A||"We've always had a stand-alone broadband product on the cable broadband offering," a spokesperson says.|
|Soul||No||Currently planning a product, release date unknown||N/A||N/A|
|Spin Internet||Yes for business. Had consumer product, but stopped it before the craze started.||One or two months to new consumer product.||Business take-up small, under five per cent of all customers. Expected take-up for consumer is 20 to 30 per cent.||"We think the line rental shouldn't be written off as much as it is," a spokesperson says. The success of naked after Spin gave up on it rankled. "It bugs me being a marketing manager, us having done it before and not thinking of the 'naked' catchphrase."|
|Telstra||No||No plans||N/A||"We believe most Australians want the security and reliability of a home phone," said a spokesperson.|