Optus offers naked DSL

Down Under, Optus joins the ranks of several smaller telcos in Australia offering naked DSL (i.e. without voice landline service).

With more tech-savvy Aussies using VoIP and/or shifting to mobile for vanilla voice calls, traditional landline service continues to shrink.

Recent results from Telstra show significant declines in local, national and international voice revenues and minutes, along with a consistent decline in PSTN services in operation over the past three years.

The first naked DSL plan in Australia was launched in November 2007 by iiNet, Australia's third-largest Internet service provider. Smaller ISPs followed, but the two top ISPs in the country, Telstra and Optus, held out in offering naked DSL because they didn't want to cannibalize their existing landline services.

However, iiNet's success with naked DSL convinced Optus. In its results last week, iiNet said its 50% profit rise was due largely to naked DSL. The company has signed up more than 50,000 naked DSL customers since launch and continues to add them at a rate of about 1,000 customers per month. Naked DSL contributes about AUS$40 million in yearly revenues to iiNet.

Optus says its plans will be more attractive to customers because it can bundle in mobile phone plans with a naked DSL offer. Upstart iiNet counters that it has better data rates and throws in free access to its iiTalk broadband phone service.

For more:
- Sydney Morning Herald
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