Naked DSL Buyer's Guide

Naked DSL Buyer's Guide

The best plans, the hidden costs, and is it really the best broadband deal on the market?

If you're wondering about the new naked DSL deals on the market, look no further. PCA online presents the ultimate buyers guide that covers 'nothing but the naked truth'.

What is naked DSL?
Whilst some people might think there is something slightly rude or perverse about the name, the 'naked' in naked DSL (NDSL) just means there is no phone service connected to the DSL (digital subscriber line). In plain English, you get broadband, but you don't have a phone service on the telephone line and don't pay a monthly rental fee. Of course you'll need to use your mobile or VOIP to make your telephone calls.

How is this possible? With naked DSL, a portion of cable from the switch to the splitter is removed, allowing the dial tone to be removed from the line. Interestingly naked DSL has been technically possible since 1999. It's only just turning up now after more than six years of regulatory disputes.

Can everybody go naked?
First off you'll need a phone line. But more important is your location, and what ISPs are operating in your area. Not every ISP in every location offers naked DSL. In technical terms, this is because naked DSL can only be offered by ISPs who install their own DSLAMs in Telstra exchanges. Internode have thrown a spanner in the works by launching their Naked DSL products using Optus DSLAMs instead.

As managing director of Internode, Simon Hackett explains: "….the answer is ISP and geographically specific, so you need to apply with your chosen ISP to find out. ISP's like Internode offer services on a 'no success, no fee' basis, so there is no downside to applying to see what happens."

Where can I get it?
In each state, the availability of Naked DSL will depend on what exchange you are located near. According to the latest data we found, the following providers support naked DSL at the moment. In brackets, we've listed what states they operate ADSL 2+ services in:

- iiNet (SA, WA, NSW, VIC, QLD, TAS, ACT, NT)
- Internode (SA, WA, NSW, VIC, QLD, TAS, ACT)
- Gotalk (SA, WA, NSW, VIC, QLD, TAS,)
- Exetel (SA, WA, NSW, VIC, QLD, ACT)
- Amnet (SA, WA)

Among the ISP's who are rumoured or planning to launch naked DSL:
- Engin
- iPrimus
- Adam Internet

iiNet is the only national ADSL 2+ provider in Australia, so if you're living with a swag in the Northern Territory, this may be your only option.

Next Page: Plans and prices . . . click below

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Comments: 20
22 May 2008
Geographically, where is the state CAN?

Comment made about the PC Authority article:
Naked DSL Buyer's Guide?
The best plans, the hidden costs, and is it really the best broadband deal on the market?

What do you think? Join the discussion.
17 June 2008
I don't understand why Exetel gets such a bad review. On the data you provide, its NonPhone A plan - 48Gb on peak download quota (+ 4Gb off-peak) for $50 per month - compares very favourably with any other plan. It's true that any excess is charged at $3/Gb, but this rate also compares well with Internode's optional Datablocks, which your review commends. Certainly, you need to watch your usage, but as an intending light user, I would have expected to see Exetel's budget offering to be listed amongst its price competitors early in your article.
Exetel's VOIP phone charges are tolerable and comparable with other offerings.
If there were other reasons for being wary about Exetel's products, I would like to have been informed about them. As it stands, the review appears biased.

There's another apparent error of fact: iiNet is reported as having "the highest" mobile call rate, at 29c/min; whilst Internode has only "one of the highest", at 30c/min.

"PC Authority" is a fine name, but authoritative journalism requires some care.

17 June 2008
Further to my last comment: some points on Exetel's plan may be gathered from

(The "limitations of downloads in this period" link needs to be opened; look for condition 9: "DOWNLOADS IN THE 12 MIDNIGHT TO 12 NOON PERIOD". First, note that this is the *off-peak* time. Then at 9 b, note: "b) Exetel will endeavour to provide sufficient internet bandwidth between the hours of 12 noon to 12 midnight each day (Peak Period) to avoid congestion during those hours." This raises two questions: (i) Has Exetel been unsuccessful in the past at achieving 9b (i.e., avoiding congestion in peak times)? (ii) Does Exetel care at all about avoiding congestion during off-peak times?
I'd like to know why this section was added in February this year, under a lot of standard legal stuff about acceptable use, etc.

17 June 2008
(Appending to my latest comment): Exetel also say in this section (9c) that they offer a user-selectable option to "shape" in the event of exceeding quota, rather than be charged for excess at full speed.
17 June 2008
I think your barking up the wrong tree, using some 'wishful' thinking there mate. I work as for an major I.T company, (I won't name them), but I have a good idea how these things work.

The way I read this well informed article (It was pretty good I thought), is that the author is trying to show that Exetel will charge you extra downloads, no matter what. So if you have crazy people in your house that like to download ridiculous amounts of data and you're a parent or roomie who isn't aware of this, it could cost you a GREAT deal more per month. Sure you can purchase 'Optional' data blocks from the other guys, but thats the whole point - they shape you instead of making you pay for going over your limit. That's a fairly big difference.

Shape vs pay extra for more vs no choice but to pay extra.

Granted, that part about the mobile phone is just a minor syntax error, and still says roughly the same're obviously trying seriously too hard to find mistakes in a pretty well researched article from my point of view.

29 June 2008
I have read very carefully on your reviews for the use of VOIP and cost, with your recomdations towards iinet as the best all round solution in Australia, with some good points for AAPT. I was with AAPT for twelve years and moved away 10 months ago, simply because they did not provide for VOIP at that time, I moved to iinet, contract free, as i bought my own equipment, also I did not know enough about iinet at that time and did not want to be signed into contracts. Anyway to cut to the chase, my reason for comment, is that in all your recommendations for VOIP with ISP servers, you neglected to give the originators of VOIP, Engin a good plug, perhaps your techs and investigators have not looked into Engin's move across Australia. When I joined iinet isp,home 3 contract, I looked at their VOIP, first iinet could not do ADSL2 + Naked, as I am not close enough to the Como-NSW exchange, but the could still do VOIP, at a cost for STD & Overseas, with only local calls for free and if I did not take VOIP, my local calls were even more expensive than AAPT, whom I left to join iinet. After looking at Engin, who had 2 plans 10 months ago, one for $14.95 and one for $19.95. After one look and the extra cost of $9.95 extra to go with Engin for my VOIP, instead of $10 with iinet, I went with Engin! Why? Simple all my familly are in Perth-England and Switzerland, My wife and I, average 40 calls overseas and about the same interstate, as i have daughters living in Warrnambool-Victoria. I hope those of you reading this, are sitting down, as my total bill on average is $8.00 + the $19.95 month'ly fee, all up $27.95, this is all done without iinet broadband 1500/256 Engin is pluged in to my engin-netgear modem, which I bough 2 years ago, from Dick Smiths for $280.00, Engin will dop for free, with 2yr contract, but I did not use that option, as I do not believe in going with contracts, that way if i am not happy with the service, I can say bye! bye! at no expense to me. I have found iinet as my isp, a very good server, but a little expensive, with the phone line and VOIP, Engin has served me as good as iinet, but with cheaper call rate, also I cannot wait for Engin's introduction to their own broadband, which is due to come on line in August 2008, if their broadband is as good as the VOIP service, and cheaper that iinet service, that I am using, then bye! bye! to iinet, hello Engin. I find it odd, that in all 10 months that I have been using Engin VOIP, I ahve not read very little about their service and products, in computer magazines, maybe PC Aithority, should look in on Engin.
I believe in fair reading to all consumers and users.
I am looking forward to your next news letter.
Jeffery McGowan, Jannali NSW 2226
4 July 2008
No specific need for naked here as employer provides phone, but noticed a second line from disused fax. House is 4km from our exchange but also have one over our back fence. Dreams of blistering ADSL2+ dashed when informed by visiting Telstra techs that no 2+ at either exchange. So disappointed I forgot to ask why they run the exchange's air conditioner 24/7!
Realisticly though, I have still never got near my 2Gb mothly limit yet, so I'll continue to plod.
7 July 2008
Exetel seemed like the best Naked DSL Plan for Me. For $70 a month you can get 80GB which is alot more than most other providers. I think TPG probably have a good plan up their sleeves for when they release naked DSL. It would be worthwhile holding out to see that. They proved to be the best value for DSL
8 July 2008
I would rather pay $3.00 per Gbyte in excess charges with Exetel, that the $150.00 per Gbyte that some other ISPs charge. It also helps that uploads are free :-).
18 July 2008
Is Naked DSL worth getting, yet?
1 August 2008
I'm a bit confused over the comments wherein people are claiming that Exetel charge you per GB over your limit so it's not worth considering because you can opt in to be shaped rather than be charged the extra fee if you prefer. I've never used any form of naked plan but would assume that the same options to change your plan to a shaped plan apply to the naked DSL plans as any other plan Exetel have currently. Exetel are very generous with their limits and me myself as a 'heavy' user of my ADSL have so far opted to leave it on the pay the excess plan instead of shaping because I find it hard to reach my quota (meaning I'm yet to do so) and I'm a leave my downloads on all night every night,watching videos online, and using voice chat type of person. After putting up with my 'generous' 12GB a month AAPT gave me and being shaped every single month without fail it's nice to be able to have some breathing space, that and uploads are NOT counted at Exetel.
I wont be trying out the naked type plans for quite a while though because I actually like having a landline in my house at the moment (and I don't think naked DSL is yet in my area, oh well).

3 August 2008
Since when did Exetel allow shaping?
18 August 2008
Let's not buy any of it! We all know this is the best of a bad offering, remember how our beloved telstra limited broadband speeds when it wasn't necessary just to add BILLIONS of extra dollars to their bottom line. If we don't buy it the price will come down as it must and the offering will go up. Why do we put up with such poor service??
18 August 2008
sein wrote:
Since when did Exetel allow shaping?

I cannot remember the exact timeframe they did bring shaping options in, I think it was around either March or May of this year.

At any rate they do practice shaping but you have to opt in, here's a screencap of the options out of the control panel minus my identifying details.

26 August 2008
Thanks for the info, vjay.
And I removed the blocking bar to view your details! haha, just kidding.
13 September 2008
Of course the plan is only half the cost. A secondary article that explores the new hardware you need to buy would be appreciated. Do I buy a new modem with Voip ports? Most of us have multiple telephones in the home these days, so exploring resolutions that don't mean you have to run phone lines everywhere would be good.
27 October 2008
The article's information on Exetel is incorrect in regards to excess charges and shaping- they do charge an excess of $3/GB by default, but users can choose to switch this to 64kbit shaping if they wish. You can even choose to have your off peak ownloads shaped but charge excess for your peak usage or vice versa. I'm currently an Exetel naked ADSL user and I choose the shaping option.
27 October 2008
The article's information on Exetel is incorrect in regards to excess charges and shaping- they do charge an excess of $3/GB by default, but users can choose to switch this to 64kbit shaping if they wish. You can even choose to have your off peak ownloads shaped but charge excess for your peak usage or vice versa. I'm currently an Exetel naked ADSL user and I choose the shaping option.
12 March 2009
In regards to Exetel offering no free VOIP calls this is completely incorrect.

All.... "Naked" ADSL2 Plans Include 100 Unlimited Time National Or Local Calls (Via VoIP). (
12 March 2009
The thread is old and dead. Good chance things have changed since it was first debated.
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