Naked DSL is now available in many parts of the country. It stands to become more widely available once AT&T complies with one of their Bellsouth acquisition conditions, which mandates they offer naked DSL within one year of the deal’s closing. AT&T is on record as saying they will comply with that mandate and will soon offer a $20/month naked DSL product. Don’t look for them to heavily market it though. Naked DSL is one of those products that send shivers down the back of many traditional telecom providers.
On the one hand, naked DSL is seen as a precursor to a subscriber abandoning landline telephone service. The thinking is they will utilize either wireless or VoIP from a third party for their voice services. No incumbent carrier welcomes abandonment of lucrative POTS lines. On the other hand, naked DSL may be a blessing in disguise. The contrarian view says, if I’m going to lose providing voice to a customer, at least my naked DSL product allows me to maintain a billing relationship with them. If not for naked DSL, I might lose that customer entirely, and perhaps forever. Moreover, if I happen to have a video and wireless service, perhaps I offer a “voiceless” bundle. Pretty soon, losing that voice revenue doesn’t look so bad. I fully recognize the presence of many “ifs” in the contrarian view scenario. The reality of today, with its confusing regulatory and settlement processes, makes this scenario easier talked about than implemented. But the not too distant future may make this scenario more of a reality for many.
Check out this naked DSL discussion on BroadbandReports.com.
Also, take a look at his AT&T/BellSouth pricing matrix for DSL, contributed by a forum member and therefore no claim of accuracy by us.