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Ask DSLReports.com: When Will AT&T Get Fully Naked?
We ask the carrier to clarify their standalone DSL offerings...
by Karl Bode 04:30PM Wednesday Dec 05 2007
Over the years, we've seen plenty of opinions from the telcos (and their employees posting to our forums) as to why they couldn't provide DSL independently of local phone service (aka naked or dry loop DSL). Some, if you remember, claimed it was illegal to do so. Others spent considerable energy claiming it was technically impossible. Some execs insisted existing lines would oxidize and the network would fail should dry loop DSL be offered.

These were all excuses of course, aimed at masking the fact that the carriers didn't want to further expedite their already painful landline revenue losses. In 2004, Qwest started offering naked DSL. Verizon of course is now focused on FiOS and offers standalone FTTH, albeit at a premium. They allowed Earthlink to begin offering naked DSL last July, though their own dry-loop offerings remain inconsistent across markets.

AT&T too has been slow in adapting to customer demand for standalone DSL, but they've recently shown signs of change. The company's CEO and several other high-level executives have recently been very vocal on the subject, insisting that force-bundling of products was an "old mindset." While that sounds great, we were still a little confused as to why standalone DSL remains out of reach for many customers, so we asked AT&T their plans.

Click for full size
AT&T tells they will be offering a $20 768kbps naked DSL tier before the end of the year. The tier is required as a BellSouth merger condition (pdf). The company also recently offered $10 bundled DSL as a merger condition, but because the FCC agreement didn't require they tell anyone about it, they didn't.

We'd expect the 768kbps dry loop offering to be kept equally quiet once launched.

AT&T's primary interest over the next few months will be promoting their new DSL & wireless bundle. What started as a promotional offer in a few college towns has apparently done so well, AT&T has plans to expand the offer nationwide. The $60-a-month deal includes 1.5Mbps DSL, 450 anytime wireless minutes, 5,000 night and weekend minutes, unlimited calls to AT&T customers and rollover of unused minutes to the next month.

"Earlier this fall we launched initial availability of standalone DSL and wireless service as a packaged bundle starting at about $60, available in select retail locations in trial markets," says AT&T's Brad Mays. "We made public announcements in these trial markets, and have since seen a positive response to the offer; we're working to expand availability." Mays says we should see national availability "within the coming months."

Bundling DSL with wireless is certainly better than bundling DSL with traditional copper landline, but what about true standalone DSL? That remains a somewhat elusive and inconsistent animal across AT&T territory.

Users in BellSouth territory can get dry loop DSL, but only by calling AT&T and asking for "bundle 96" (see this forum thread for pricing). Users in AT&T's legacy 13-state footprint can get dry loop DSL by calling 888-800-4095 and asking to switch to "DSL direct" (users say you may have to state this is a retention offer). These offers are not available online, nor are they advertised. Naked DSL also remains unavailable through independent ISPs who use AT&T's ATM network.

So while AT&T executives have made a lot of noise lately about embracing standalone DSL, users are still being forced to engage in some hoop jumping. And our users tell us that not all of them are getting the same prices when they call the above numbers for service. Retention offers "are unique to each customer situation and handled on an individual basis," Mays tells us. AT&T/BellSouth pricing discrepancies in general are something they're working on.

The good news? AT&T tells us the standalone DSL offer we mention above is not retention only, and will be coming to retail alongside the company's wireless bundle.

"It will hit retail locations to supplement the wireless / DSL bundle," he says. "We are working to push this to all retail locations in the coming months. It's available in some markets today, and we are on track to reach others in our service territory soon."

topics flat nest 

Cleveland, OH


in Ohio you can get almost every tier dry-loop if not all of them. All you have to do is call in. I checked on prices 2 weeks ago for my sister. The rep said it was new and nobody really new anything but she had to get the pricing for me and put me on hold. 2 minutes later she came back with pricing. It was fast too for the information.

Its just a matter of calling and asking if you want it bad enough and are willing to spend the $$$$.

Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Tulsa, OK

Re: Speeds

I'm interested in an Internet/Wireless bundle... but NOT "Gimpy" internet.... IE If you could get 6mbps down/768k up and wireless for $60 a month I'd bite.

Cleveland, OH

Re: Speeds

i doubt they'll give everyone that bundle thats a big loss for them on the internet side and the wireless.

Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Tulsa, OK

Re: Speeds

Big loss?

I fail to see how it's a big loss....


Syracuse, NY
said by KrK:

If you could get 6mbps down/768k up and wireless for $60 a month I'd bite.
I'd more than bite for that price -- considering 6mbps down in AT&T's MW territory is $35 and basic wireless starts at $40. (the typical wireless bundle discount is only $4)

My Goal Is To Deny Yours
Grand Rapids, MI

The answer is....

When all other providers stop with the bundled services or penalty pricing. Seems that every internet service you can get out there has a package deal or you need to buy another service to avoid a penalty. Even dry loop DSL is available, but you have to pay more for it. Not as much as 2 services, but still more.
My domain - Nightfall.net

Complete Your Transaction


i'll take the 6/768 tier...what's that? not available?

if AT&T offers the 6/768 tier at a reasonable price (dry loop) then i will bite. otherwise, it is a waste.

Baltimore, MD

Re: i'll take the 6/768 tier...what's that? not available?

In Baltimore City (a few hundred yards from FIOS territory in Baltimore County). Verizon dry-loop DSL is only $5.00 more than bundled DSL but you save $18 off of the phone portion of the bundle (a net savings of $13). Cavalier charges $40 (plus $2 in fees) for dry-loop. $25 more than their bundled DSL (but you save $40 on phone prices plus fees). So you also save a net of $13 ($55 vs $42). Verizon gives about 3mbps/768kbps from 5000 feet from CO while I get 8-10.5 mbps/800-900kbps from Cavalier »www.speedtest.net/result/2091254 ··· 5499.png
Needless to say, I took Cavalier (who has agreed to lower my dryloop to $36.80 (post fees). I am trying to decide between keeping Cavalier or dropping them and keeping Comcast's speed tier (which has dropped their bundled price to match Cavalier (and is of course even faster).


Lewisville, TX
AT&T-SE (BellSouth) offers Stand Alone DSL for $47.95.. no taxes or hidden fees. I have it.

Complete Your Transaction


Re: i'll take the 6/768 tier...what's that? not available?

i'm with AT&T but i'm not in BS territory. my total bill for phone + dsl (3/512) is $52. that is with everything including caller id, etc.

to me that is not much of a difference in price to change, yet.


Hayward, CA

AT&T fully naked

I don't and I won't trust a single word these "providers" say because they make you accept a EULA that absolves them of any responsibility for whatever is said advertized etc.
You might be able to beat them into submission but the telco track record for any service has gone the way of the honest politician.
Caveat emptor

Cedar Park, TX


Let's not forget about us FTTP customers. Not only are we forced to get a landline, but we don't even get the package bundle discounts.

Canadian, eh?

Valencia, CA

AT&T will get fully naked when...

pigs fly.
Most likely, you'll see: AT&T Uverse naked before POTS naked
I've already been offered naked Uverse Internet 6Mbps/1Mpbs for $40/month and 3Mbps/1Mbps for $30.
Canada = Hollywood North


Re: AT&T will get fully naked when...

I just ordered and got dry-loop DSL in the middle of November 2007 and have been loving it since. I almost got U-verse but decided to get it later when I can afford it .




"Over the years, we've seen plenty of opinions from the telcos (and their employees posting to our forums) as to why they couldn't provide DSL independently of local phone service (aka naked or dry loop DSL). Some, if you remember, claimed it was illegal to do so. Others spent considerable energy claiming it was technically impossible. Some execs insisted existing lines would oxidize and the network would fail should dry loop DSL be offered.

This is bull. They don't want to offer Naked DSL only because it will hurt there already hurting landline service (project dinosaur).

Impossible to offer it? Bull.

Oxidize lines? Bull.

Copper in the ground is not oxidizing that's bull.

Not technically possible? Bull.

Were do these guys get there info.

They are protecting there employers.

For once I like to see them explain this one.

Besides anyone who believes this is a moron.

Hopefully Kevin and ATT will not be in bed together for long.

Absolute disgust.
Greenville, SC

who cares

i can get a dry loop in ohio for not much less than the amount i pay for my dsl + home phone service.

Cleveland, OH

Re: who cares

very true. you don't save very much so why get dsl and no phone line at least you have a good source for 911 access.

Lithia Springs, GA

Re: who cares

Most people who are trying to get rid of their phone lines probably have cell phones. Users want to get rid of the phone line because it is not really used, and it is a wasted/unused "expense".

Any cell phone can call 911. Even deactivated phones.


Springfield, MO

already got it

I've had a dry loop for a few months now.



Outside tech opinion.

Dry loops= job security. I love them, it gives me something to fix again. Most customers don't have a clue as to what to do after they order a dry pair. Then we have to go out and swing the inside wiring to the new pair in the NID. Thank you that'll be $60 on your next bill. Of course most of us conveniently forget to bill for the visit.

I'm looking forward to the "stolen pair" fiasco of late 1999/early 2000 years.



3 edits

Re: Outside tech opinion.

Algonquin, IL

Re: Outside tech opinion.

You right.

How dare he travel to a customers site (who called AT&T).

Perform a service that they obviously don't know how to do.

Expect payment for rendering a service.

What a jerk!

Seriously, you can have your opinion,but don't go ripping on somebody for no reason like that. A gun isn't held to people's heads to call and ask for a truck roll, and guess what...Joe Blow Customer might not actually know what the f**K a NID/MPOE is like you do, or how to split the pair. That's why you see speaker wire, and electrical tape in there sometimes....and then they wonder why they hear the ESPN radio station, and get horrible speeds.
My Blog. Because I desperately need the acknowledgement of others.

Mainegirl and my Beer Review's



3 edits

Re: Outside tech opinion.

Emmett, ID

1 edit
Say Good Night Gracie.
Expand your moderator at work

Fort Gratiot, MI

no problems?

I called and ordered a dry loop it took 20 mins, and one for my parents as well

Sounds like a DSLreports.com's attempt to stir up a news story...

must be a wednesday or something

Waterloo, IA

The Monopoly Gasps For Breath

"It will destroy our network!"

Isn't this the same kind of BS propaganda Ma Bell told us when we could finally buy our own telephone instead of leasing it from her?

When will people wake up? There never was a reason dry loop couldn't be offered. The monopoly simply had no incentive to.

Butner, NC

Re: The Monopoly Gasps For Breath

Good enough excuse in my book to break AT+T back up again.

Medford, OR

Does anyone know if

this is available in Oregon?

Washington, DC

Using it right now

Just got my dry loop service from AT&T connected today. 3000/512 for $28.99/mo. Goodbye Time Warner Cable and your $45.95/mo!!

XM411.com - XM discussion, reviews and community

Complete Your Transaction


Re: Using it right now

is that your total cost (total on your bill)? or are there extra taxes and unfees?


San Luis Obispo, CA

No excuse, ATT...

..for not offering "dry" DSL
I have ATT hardline service because when we had the 6.5 earthquake in 2003(12/23) in San Luis Obispo county, my Verizon wireless phone was useless for most of the day. But, I had "dialtone" on my hardline. Personally, I will ALWAYS have hardline service.

But I know numerous folks here that would LOVE to get DSL, but don't want telephone service. And they want what I get (6/768)@ $35.00 a month. Whats the problem? Charter Pipeline is $50.00 for 5/512, and it's a pain deal'in with the usual eveining slowdowns.

And why can't you extend service "across town"??!! My Bro. would LOVE to have your service, but...25,000' dosen't cut it. And he has LOTS of neighbors that feel the same.

Same thing with a friend of mine in Morro Bay, too damn far from the local CO.

Get it together, ATT-spend a little $ to make alot of $.

Netcong, NJ


I don't want no steekan DSL. I want my fiber.



I got my dryloop dsl (Finally)23.99 a month suckx

I ordered it around Oct 15th and its been pretty solid except for my latency keeps jumping around.I had to jump thro a few hoops and threaten to cancel to receive that price.They tried all they could to keep me as a pots customer.

Only i have a great cell plan and really not much use for that so the dry loop is perfect in my case.I couldent see any point in having both landline and cell its such old school.

I was the victem one time when i couldent get a pairs assinged to me for 3 weeks turns out it was hijacked by another tech.Once they realized i didnt have ANY service they got it installed.

It was a bit of a run around to get it actually installed.They seemed to thro everything at it when all else faied and the reg tech had to call in a dsl specialist and he had me up in no time.

I do have to admit i was informed and i could call the field tech on his cell and even his supervisor when it hit a snag.

But in the end its better than paying for a line and dsl.
Burgaw, NC

2 recommendations

Areas not served

I'd just like to have DSL, wet or dry! Enough about areas alreay with "wired broadband", focus on expanding availablity!

I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Netcong, NJ

Re: Areas not served

said by bcorley:

I'd just like to have DSL, wet or dry! Enough about areas alreay with "wired broadband", focus on expanding availablity!
Sorry its a business, show me the money. What do you think this is 1980?

Bloom County

If a AT&T spokesman said naked DSL was not possible for..

ANY reason - how come the reporters not come back with - "Then how come CLEC's have offered dry pair on your lines since 2000?" Then watch them squirm.

Free health care is 100% a misnomer - it is not free and never will be free.