[LINK] Naked ADSL and dumping the voiceline

Michael Skeggs mike@bystander.net mskeggs at gmail.com
Tue Nov 2 07:16:41 AEDT 2010

Rick suggested I reply to the list.

Hi Rick,
I work in telco, we don't do consumer anymore but I can answer these questions.
My very first suggestion, however, is to try out VoIP by adding it to
your current setup before you make any changes. MyNetFone have some
incredibly cheap offers on the Whirlpool forums that include hardware
(an ATA that your PSTN handset plugs into, and has ethernet on the
other side).
Spend the $25 to try it out and see if you like the service.

Your questions:
> * what device can I then connect to the naked line to give my current
>   (simple residential) telephone equipment full POTS connectivity?

You need an ATA. There are simple or fancy ones. Some support multiple
voice lines (so you can have independent handsets with separate
numbers). The simplest has no interface with POTS, it just plugs into
your ethernet LAN and you plug in a phone. When you call out, it uses
VoIP. You get a SIP number for other VoIP users to call you for free,
and some suppliers will map a real geographic number onto this line,
so people can call e.g.  02 9654 3210 and the phone plugged in to your
ATA will ring.
The next level up is probably the same, but to get your old landline
number ported to the SIP line instead of a new number. Then people
calling your existing number will make the handset plugged into the
ATA ring.
The other alternative is to get an ATA with a PSTN "pass through"
port. This connects to the normal PSTN *AND* ethernet. Incoming calls
come over the POTS like they always have go through the ATA and make
the phone ring. Outgoing calls go by VoIP. If the ethernet is down,
the box will dial out via PSTN. This last option requires you to
maintain a standard line rental instead of going naked, but it is the
option I have chosen, mainly because of cost, convenience and

> * there obviously must be some POTS gateway/interface in the mix?
This mainly happens at the provider end. They have a SIP trunk or
multiple ISDN primary rate circuits to their wholesaler. You plug into
the ethernet port on your LAN. The LAN is connected via an ADSL modem
or Cable modem - whatever you have now.

> * does the switch to naked ADSL affect my internet data connection,
>   modem or PC in any way?
If you have an ADSL2+ modem, then no to changes on your end. There
*may* be some terms and conditions to examine, and you will likely
have some downtime if you are moving providers - the rapid churn
process doesn't seem to work for moves to naked. If you are, for
example, moving from a iiNet ADSL2+ service to an iiNet naked service
I *think* they can do it with minimal downtime, but for other
combinations it will require a Telstra technician to make a physical
change in your exchange (plugging your copper into your suppliers
DSLAM). This can take up to 5 days, which is an age to be stuck on 3G
as I discovered last month.
So check how much downtime is involved.

> * do I pay anything for the naked line?
Telstra lease the copper ULL (unbundled local loop) to your provider
for about $20 a month. but most tariffs I've seen don't break out this
charge and just give you a price of $x for xGB on a naked DSL link.

> * who maintains the naked line?
Telstra, but you report faults etc. via your naked provider who then
raise a wholesale service request with Telstra.

> * and the big question: would my only ongoing cost for VoiP then
>   be the bandwidth I use over the ADSL?
Only when you are calling other VoIP users. You will pay for calls to
normal phone numbers at the VoIP suppliers rate (note you don't need
to use the naked link providers voip service). Engin, for example,
have a plan for about $20 a month that includes all calls to local and
national numbers, and cheap rates to mobiles and overseas. Some
suppliers have 'all you can eat' call plans.
I make mostly STD calls and my supplier charges me a flat 10c a call untimed.

> i.e. this is a cost reduction exercise. Quite applicable to a move
> to FTTH if that ever happens where I live :)
As I said at the top, suck it and see with the cheap mynetfone starter kit.
The drawbacks of naked and voip are:
- more complex setup and potential for stuff to go wrong
- much more tailoring/setup as there are heaps of options/features
- call quality is vulnerable to data link traffic. It suffers if the
link is congested.
- there is an additional post dial delay as the ATA works everything
through (calls take an extra few seconds to get connected)
- I speculate that some of the VoIP providers will disappear over the
next year or two. You might have hassles porting numbers etc when that
- the DSL network is not as robust as the PSTN, so there is more
downtime (I have records of data outages, but it has never actually
been down when I wanted to make a phone call, so this is slightly
- If you have a DSL quota that slows down after you exceed it, your
voice link may stop working properly (This has never happened to me,
as I have a big quota, but it seems a risk).

The positives:
- you can get multiple in-dial numbers, and they don't have to be
where you live. For example, I live an STD zone away from Sydney, but
I got a local Sydney number so my Dad and others can call me for a
local call. If I had friends in the USA I could get a number there.
- the VoIP systems at the provider end are very feature rich, and it
is all included. So you get free voice mail, sophisticated call
diversions, possibly even stuff like fax to email.
- You can add a second line for peanuts - less than $5 a month.
- Calls are incredibly cheap
- You can have zero line rental (the naked plans are usually the same
price as DSL on its own).
- you can talk to other VoIP users for free.

For the record, I have an ADSL2+ link with Telstra with a 100Gb quota,
the cheapest line rental (not naked) and my voice with mynetfone and
faktortel. I chose this way because there are no naked suppliers in my
exchange, and I don't think naked is quite ready for prime time - that
is my wife would yell at me if it was down and I am to chicken to risk
Best of luck.
Michael Skeggs

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