What's the difference between Naked Broadband and ADSL2+?
What's the difference between Naked broadband and ADSL OR ADSL 2+ ? Thanks, Husam
Great question, and one we get a lot.
'Naked Broadband' can mean a few things, but I think you're referring specifically to Naked DSL, which is sold as 'Broadband without Line Rental!" to appeal to people who want the stability, speed and download limits that come with a fixed-line connection, but who otherwise don't need a phone service.
As for ADSL and ADSL2+ - these are the same thing, but ADSL2+ is a newer and faster standard. They're both connections made to the internet on a standard copper telephone line connection.
It's important to get this right out of the way for people who don't want to read the rest: There is no substantial saving to be made between getting a bundled Phone + Internet bundle, and a 'Naked' connection. In fact, Naked connections are almost always more expensive. Getting a Phone + Internet bundle, and then not using the phone, is indistinguishable from Naked DSL for most customers, and is often much cheaper and easier.
What is DSL?
Digital Subcriber Line (DSL) technology is pretty straightforward: when it came time to look into providing a high speed connection to every home in Australia (and other countries), internet service providers had two choices: one was to use telephone networks, which can carry a signal and reach to everyone's home; and the other was to use power lines, which do much the same. Power lines in most countries use leads that are unsuited to the task (too much electronic 'noise' on the line), so most countries opted for phone lines (the main exception is South Korea, which tried Broadband-Over-Power-Lines for a while).
Phone lines were well suited to the task for a few reasons, but the main reason was that phone lines had built in redundancy that could be exploited.
Each phone line is made up of two copper wires, twisted around each other in a configuration called 'Twisted Pair'. This was put in years ago to account for homes needing a second line, or to use if the first line shorted out. DSL uses this second wire to deliver the high frequency internet signal, without affecting the phone voice service.
The A in ADSL stands for 'Assymetric'. This refers to the fact that ADSL connections are faster when downloading than when uploading.
Bundled Phone + Internet
This is where it gets very, very complicated. And frankly, it's more a legal thing than anything else.
All of the Twisted Pairs leading to each home from the telephone exchange are owned and operated by Telstra. Your connection to your particular ISP begins at the exchange, where the Telstra line from your home connects to their network equipment.
Because of this two-layer connection, getting a DSL service of any kind requires two sets of charges. One is the 'line rental' that Telstra charges the ISP for use of the line. The other is the fee for connecting to the internet. Your ISP can charge you for the line rental, and pass that fee on to Telstra. This is called Bundling.
It is a condition of Telstra's that you are issued a phone number and a phone voice service. You're not paying for that - it's included in what you're really paying for, which is the use of the line for ANY service.
Unconditioned Local Loop (ULL)
Bundled lines collect underground and lead back to the exchange in big rubber tubes, carrying as many as 5000 copper pairs at a time. At the exchange, each lead can be easily swapped between networks belonging to different providers.
But there is some copper left over that is not serviced but Telstra, and just lays there in the ground. This is Unconditioned Local Loop line. It connects in the same way, but it is not serviced by Telstra and is available at a cheaper wholesale fee to providers.
An ISP can get Telstra to transfer a normal bundled line to this ULL copper, and then your ISP can run Internet along BOTH copper wires. This provides a slightly faster speed, with no associated phone voice service at all.THAT'S Naked DSL.
Technically, the ISP becomes the owner and operator of that individual line, so they don't have to itemize a separate 'line rental' on your bill.
So why isn't Naked DSL cheaper?
TPG charges $30 for Unlimited Broadband, when bundled with a $30 line rental.
TPG charges $70 for an Unlimited Naked DSL connection.
Other providers are much the same - Naked DSL comes out the same price or slightly more expensive than a bundled deal that, if you never actually plugged a telephone handset into the wall, would look exactly the same. What gives?
Well first of all, your ISP is still paying Telstra something to access that line. The line still lies along a conduit belonging to Telstra.
Second of all, you ARE still technically paying line rental - to your ISP! They've become, in effect, the line provider! But they don't have to itemise the service as a separate charge, because it's all included in their own price!
Let's imagine it as a conversation:
Customers: We want just internet without the phone line.
Internet providers: But that's impossible. We use the phone line to deliver the service.
Customers: BUT I DON'T USE THE PHONE.
Internet providers: But we're talking about two different things. The phone 'line' is the bit of copper that can carry a signal between your home and the wider telecommunications network. A phone service is-
Customers: BUT I DON'T USE THE PHONE.
Internet providers: Ok, what if we provide a very convoluted solution that costs more and is more difficult to set up, but allows you to technically say you're not paying for a phone line?
Customers: YES, THANK YOU.
In a nutshell:
Click here to check out our best bundled deals. Get a bundle, ignore the phone service, and move on with your life. You'll be a lot happier :D
Adam at CompareBroadband
1300 106 571