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Poll Results: Three quarters want a naked DSL option.
Thursday 23 May 2013 14:57:17 by Andrew Ferguson

The debate over the requirement to have an active voice line rental product on a telephone line is always bubbling away, but with the year on year rises in the cost of basic voice services while the cost of broadband is decreasing more people question the need for voice line rental. We ran a poll for seven days that attracted over 1,600 responses and gave a clear response with 78% saying they would like a naked DSL option.

Poll Results: Would you like the ability to have DSL without paying voice line rental?
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For the 9.4% who did not know what naked DSL is, it refers to a copper telephone line that does not support voice calls, but can be used for broadband i.e. ADSL, ADSL2+, SDSL and VDSL2. In the 13 years that ADSL has been commercially available in the UK Ofcom has said that there is no commercial demand for naked DSL, but it seems the public is keen for an option.

Many people may think that by not having to pay voice line rental, they would save £10 to £16 a month, but part of the cost of providing a phone line would still need to be paid, hence we asked people what would be fair for a telephone line that cannot be used for calls.

Poll Results: What would be a fair price for a telephone line with no voice support?
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No real surprise to find that half opted for the under £5 per month option, with what may be a more realistic figure of £5 to £7 per month chosen by 24%. The current wholesale pricing is such that a basic phone line with broadband support costs £7.09 to £8.77 (plus VAT) per month. So the real question is whether removing voice support can produce a lower price, or whether the regulator needs to enforce an option. There is a school of thought that by undermining the income from copper landlines, it would encourage a move to fibre by the operators, but conversely if copper broadband is made cheaper people in the current financial climate may prefer slower and cheaper broadband.

Poll Results: If you have a DSL based service do you use the line for voice calls?
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Most of the time the calls for naked DSL are followed by the assertion that the person never uses the phone line for telephone calls which is actually the case for 34% of those in the poll, 57% use their landline for calls but only 10% make lots of calls. We presume the third not using the landline rely on their mobile or one of the VoIP services. VoIP carries the advantage that call costs are in line with or lower than a landline usually and for groups of home workers allow you to have a phone system that is the same as being in a large office.

We suspect that a big part of the reluctance to offer naked DSL at the retail level is that telephone and broadband bundles are increasingly reliant on revenue from the chargeable calls made over the landline.

In the short term, if you are one of those who does not use the telephone line and only needs it for the broadband service, check whether your telephone provider allows you to pay for 12 months line rental in return for a discount, or if you are on a WLR based telephone service shop around for the best line rental deals.


Posted by ggremlin over 4 years ago
naked dsl from fttc cabinet would only require a short section of the copper line, (not all the way to an exchange,) so could be cheaper.
Posted by ryant704 over 4 years ago
At least it would remove the whole "We don't have to replace copper/ali unless it affects the voice service"
Posted by jroadley over 4 years ago
I hate having a "home phone", hate when it rings as its never someone I want to speak to!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Slightly radical idea, turn off the ringer if you use it for the odd outgoing call.

Or unplug the phone if you never make calls on it.

Which reminds me, left dect phone in kitchen again.
Posted by Saurus over 4 years ago
One of the main reasons I got rid of my landline and use Mobile Broadband is the £15 a month the ISP's take for doing nothing, over the 13 years I have lived in my current address they have taken almost £2000 when I multiply that by the number of homes connected to our exchange 350 thats a lot of money for doing nothing or at best very little. In addition I went from 5mb connection on the landline to 12mb on mobile bit of a no-brainer really!
Posted by zyborg47 over 4 years ago
I don't have a phone line, well it is still connected to the house and to the exchange,but i can't use it. My broadband is wireless and i use Sipgate for Voip and I only done that because it is cheaper for my Dad to phone me and a mate who will not have a mobile phone.
Posted by mdar5 over 4 years ago
Presumably you are now going to equally say that you have been paying £xx/month to your electric and gas supplier for "doing nothing"

On the otherhand maybe you could go into the gardening business. You will be maintaining domestic gardens in their current state of repair each week - which in your wacky world amounts to "doing nothing". So I take it you will be happy to do all this for no pay at all.....
Posted by irrelevant over 4 years ago
We've used VoIP for outgoing calls for ages, but last year rationalised our two ADSL+phone lines to a single FTTC connection; ported the BT number on the redundant line to A&A, and now all incoming calls are VoIP too.. The remaining physical line is just used for fallback/powerfail.
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
I guess you fit with para 3 of the story, believing the £15pm all goes to the voice service. Actually, a chunk of it is for the copper line, and the maintenance related to that alone.

As stated, an allowance of £5-7 is more realistic for the line.

It seems cheap broadband bundles are reliant on the income from line rental and call charges, so naked DSL would probably be more expensive than one with the phone service.

Hyperoptic, selling fibre services, have broadband costing £10pm more if you take naked broadband from them without telephone.
Posted by Zarjaz over 4 years ago
"it refers to a copper telephone line that does not support voice calls, but can be used for broadband i.e. ADSL, ADSL2+, SDSL "

SDSL is basically naked DSL isn't it ? Yes it's synchronous, but otherwise fits the bill.
Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
Article should have included the MPF LLU line rental wholesale cost - £84.26 + VAT per year or £8.43 inc VAT with no retail markup.

There's your NakedDSL price. Still interested ?
Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
and the sub-loop to the cabinet is available for £93.96 ex VAT per year. LOL.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
I did include MPF LLU costs, hence the price range given.
Posted by alwall over 4 years ago
Until mobile to mobile conversations have the same clarity and reliability of a landline, I will always use my landline in preference to a mobile.
Posted by NickSpam over 4 years ago
In effect Virgin Cable customers already have this option. Surely the debate could be settled by looking at what proportion of Virgin Cable Broadband customers opt for no phone.
Posted by Bob_s2 over 4 years ago
Having Naked DSL is unlikely to make more than a small difference to the line rental particularly as calls are currently used to subsidise the line to a degree. Probably not likely to be much more than 10% less than current wholesale line rental
Posted by RapsterUK over 4 years ago

That's exactly how I have my service from Virgin; Cable Internet and no phone service. Costs me £7 less this way, which is exactly what I pay for my mobile contract. The mobile package contains more than enough minutes/SMS for my usage.
Posted by shaneosborne over 4 years ago
If I could avoid paying line rental then I would but as it stands, I will continue to pay for a service I do NOT use. My DECT phone is plugged in but the ringer is set to silent and it will remain at that.

I use my mobile for all incoming/outgoing calls (The One Plan)and it also serves as a backup for when my broadband connection goes down (Tethering).

I don't think we will ever see a naked DSL option and if we did then a charge would be hidden in there somewhere....
Posted by wigan over 4 years ago
Why not make a connection charge of £5pm to cover infrastructure maintenance & £0.75p per gig usage. Thereby users would only pay for what they take. The pensioner at home could then afford to keep in contact & have the same opportunity to find bargains as the rest of us & the "super users" who download 24/7 can either change their habits or pay a fair price for what they take. Never happen though too much logic & sense of fairness for today's society.
Posted by ddrysdale99 over 4 years ago
@zarjaz. SDSL is symmetric not synchronous. And as Herdwick says Openreach owns the copper and charges £8.43 a month rental to ISPs who also have to pay Openreach accommodation and power costs.
Posted by francisuk20 over 4 years ago
Do Sky have to pay a accommodation and power costs since they "own" there stuff?
Posted by poxypig over 4 years ago
The sooner "naked DSL" becomes available the better, then the copper wires will go and we stand a chance of getting a decent internet service. The speed I get is only half that of people less than 400 metres nearer the exchange.
I rarely use the voice line and would be happy to abandon it together with much of the cost. An infrastructure cost of £5 should easily be achievable once the ancient copper wiring is consigned to history.
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