Naked Broadband: What is it and why you no longer need to care

Now that the NBN is everywhere, Naked plans are no longer available.

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  • Naked ADSL gave Internet access without the line rental
  • There wasn't really a cost saving to sign up for Naked
  • The NBN has made all ADSL connections redundant

Last updated 05/12/2023

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In the ever-changing telecommunications landscape, it's interesting to look back at technologies that once held the spotlight but have now faded into obscurity. One such technology is Naked Broadband. If you're in Australia and have searched for a broadband plan recently, you'd have noticed that Naked Broadband isn't a choice anymore. This guide aims to clarify what Naked Broadband is, how it used to operate, and why it's no longer a viable option for Australians today.

Understanding Naked broadband: What is it?

Naked broadband, also known as standalone internet, quite simply refers to an internet connection that is not bundled with a phone or pay-TV service. It gets its unique name from the fact that it "strips away" the additional phone service that traditionally came attached with broadband connection. With Naked broadband, all you get is just the broadband. 

So, why would you opt for naked broadband? There are quite a few potential benefits. Firstly, if you're someone who rarely, if ever, uses the home phone, paying for a service you don't use can feel a bit wasteful. In this case, a Naked Broadband set-up might appeal to you. The focus is squarely placed on the internet service, often providing faster speeds and generous, if not unrestricted, data allowances.

How Naked broadband works

Naked broadband essentially operates via the same mechanism as traditional broadband, but with one major difference - there's no phone line rental bundled in the deal. To get a 'naked' connection, all you need is a modem - which could be wired or wireless - and a monthly fee to the service provider. Your internet is then delivered via ADSL or ADSL2+ connections, both of which use the same copper phone lines as traditional broadband services, but without the requirement for a phone service. 

Think of this like a cake. In this case, the internet is the cake's base and additional services like phone lines are the icing. Essentially, naked broadband provides just the cake base,

So, how does this all connect? Let's lay it all out: 

  1. When you opt for a naked broadband plan, your provider will disconnect the voice component from your line, leaving only the data running.
  2. The connection is then established over the DSL line, leading from your home to the local telephone exchange.
  3. This facilitates direct data transmission to and from your home, bypassing any traditional phone services.
  4. Your broadband modem decodes this information, providing you with high-speed internet access without the need for a home phone line.

It boils down to the fact that naked broadband offers a more streamlined experience. Much like taking a direct flight instead of one with stops, it cuts out the unnecessary and gets you to your destination without the fuss - your destination in this case being a fast, reliable internet connection.

Naked broadband vs. Traditional ADSL: What sets them apart?

As the name suggests, traditional broadband often comes all wrapped up. This means it's commonly bundled with other services such as a landline telephone or pay TV. When you strip away the extra features, what you get is naked broadband. 

Let's take a closer look to better understand the differences between naked broadband and traditional broadband services.

  • Installation and Equipment: Traditional broadband services usually require a more complex setup. This includes installing specific modems and wiring for telephone and cable TV services. On the contrary, setting up naked broadband is usually simpler, thanks to its reliance on an internet connection alone. 
  • Availability: With the pervasiveness of internet services, you might expect naked broadband to be available everywhere. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Naked broadband, being a rather niche service is not as widely available as traditional broadband services which can be found in most urban and rural areas across the globe.
  • Cost: If you're a minimalist and love keeping things basic, naked broadband might seem like an economical choice. After all, you're paying for the internet only, sans phone line rental or cable tv subscription charges. However, the actual savings might not be as significant once you consider the fact that many broadband providers offer discounts for bundled services.
  • Speed and Performance: Traditional broadband's speed and performance might be influenced by the quality of your phone line or even your proximity to the exchange. Naked broadband, being solely internet-based, is less susceptible to these factors. However, some users may still experience lower speeds during peak usage hours.

Despite there being clear differences, there is no definitive answer to which broadband type is better. It boils down to individual preferences and needs. If your household doesn't use a landline and streams most content online, going 'naked' might be your best option. Conversely, if you value the extras that come with traditional broadband packages, you might prefer to stick with them.

What's most critical is identifying your internet needs and choosing the service that best caters to them. Whether that be naked broadband or a traditional package, there's no absolute winner - it's all about what works best for you.

How the NBN killed Naked broadband plans in Australia

In 2009, the Australian government heralded a significant change in the country's technology landscape by setting the wheels in motion for a National Broadband Network (NBN). Designed to replace Australia's existing copper networks with faster, more reliable technology, it was clear that the NBN was set to revolutionise internet access for all Australians. 

The introduction of this dramatically new infrastructure, however, spelled the end for naked broadband plans. 

The NBN transition replaced the traditional copper phone lines and changed how services were delivered. In this new era, phone services shifted predominantly onto the internet using a technology called VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). The way this works is simple: instead of using an antiquated copper line, your voice is transformed into digital data and transported via your internet connection. With this VoIP revolution underway, it removed the need for a separate line to manage telephone services, thereby deeming Naked Broadband irrelevant for modern Australians.

Staying connected: Exploring the best broadband options for Australians

As the technological landscape has shifted, so too have the options for broadband connections in Australia. While Naked broadband may no longer be relevant, a range of other alternatives have risen to provide you with a reliable and fast internet connection. Let's delve into the range of options currently available to you. 

Primarily, three types of broadband technologies stand out: NBN, home wireless and mobile broadband. Let's understand how they compare: 

NBN: The National Broadband Network 

In essence, NBN represents a massive digital upgrade, aimed at equipping Australia with a fast, reliable broadband connection. It's a government-owned infrastructure utilising fibre optic cables and various other technologies to bring fast broadband to Aussie homes. 

The standout aspect of NBN's provision is its attempt to tailor plans to fit individual needs. Whether you're a casual surfer, an avid gamer, or a bustling household filled with devices, you'll find a plan that understands you and delivers effectively. 

Compare NBN plans to find the right plan for your needs.

Home Wireless Broadband: The Unwired Alternative 

Imagine receiving broadband through the air, no cables, no mess. Home wireless broadband works by connecting your home to the internet using a wireless signal rather than physical cables. Quick to set up and simple to move, it is a go-to broadband solution for many, especially those in rented accommodation. 

Find the right Home Wireless plan.

Mobile Broadband: Connect Anywhere, Anytime 

In the most basic terms, mobile broadband is the technology that gives your mobile devices internet access. But with a modem or a hotspot, you can transform it into a source of internet for your home. The flexibility that mobile broadband offers keeps you connected, whether you're on the move or just at home. 

Matching the right broadband to your needs and circumstances is key for a seamless digital experience. The ease of use, speed, plan diversity, and level of reliability should be key factors in your decision. 

Discover more about mobile broadband in Australia.


Type of Broadband Positives Negatives
NBN Fast and reliable, tailored plans Requires house wiring, can sometimes be affected by weather conditions
Home Wireless Broadband Quick to set up, no wires involved Speed might not be as fast as cabled broadband, susceptible to signal disruptions
Mobile Broadband Portable and flexible, doesn't require home installation Depends on mobile network signal strength, data plans can be limited


Can I get a Naked DSL plan?

Not anymore. Now that the NBN rollout is complete, ADSL plans are no longer available to purchase.

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The government is making 1.5 million Australian homes and businesses eligible for a speed upgrade to FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), which offers greater speed and reliability. Selected towns and suburbs with FTTC and FTTN are eligible for the upgrade with an eligible high speed nbn plan.

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