Not everyone is comfortable getting naked. Add to that list. They offer a naked DSL product. They just don’t want too many people to know. Telephony Online reports that Embarq offers a stand alone DSL product, but only as a retention tool. Landline customers who call Embarq to cancel their landline service are apparently being offered a stand alone DSL service. Embarq tells Telephony “…we would prefer to keep a customer for one service should they decide to discontinue their home phone service, rather than lose the customer altogether.” Don’t look for a marketing blitz from Embarq offering “nakedivity.”

Today’s reality is that all wireline companies are struggling with how to deal with line loss. AT&T also quietly offers a naked DSL product, although they were forced to in order to get their Bellsouth acquisition approved by regulators. It makes sense to leverage wirelines for whatever possible. If that means broadband only, so be it. Better than nothing. The issue that carriers like Embarq struggle with is what is the proper level of aggressiveness in offering that option. Competitors from wireless to cable have traditional telecom wirelines in their sights. Depending on your perspective, the happy or sad truth is that the future of wireline probably rests in IP/broadband, and not in voice. But voice still represents the lion’s share of revenue for many wireline carriers today. Especially those who do not own significant wireless assets. No business, telecom carrier or otherwise, is interested in surrendering what regularly “butter’s their bread.” It’s a struggle that wireline carriers will continue to face, as competitor’s raid their core business, and they transition their wireline revenue structure from voice minutes to data kilobytes.

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