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Monday, October 10, 2011

Standalone DSL - When You Don't Want a Phone Line, Too

Standalone DSL - When You Don't Want a Phone Line, Too

Most high-speed Internet provider to get their packages in line with the expectation that customers want a lot of services with the utmost comfort. Or at least, they see your desire to have a Faster Internet connection as an opportunity for you to sign up for any service, upgrade offer.

Some people, for example, spend all telephone service to their mobile phones. They no longer see the need for a "fixed" (ie, their old normalTelephone service, sometimes abbreviated as POTS). Or you can believe that their voice must adequately telephone-based services such as Skype Internet Phone met. (Together, the VOIP calls over the Internet, Voice over IP.) If you do not go to a service "normal" phone, these people figure, why pay to use it?

If you are looking for your cable TV service, as the best choice for your Internet service, none of this poses a problem. The cable company may try to sell the benefits of their telephone services, but a simple "No thanks" is usually sufficient.

However, the users, the DSL service instead of cable-based high-speed Internet, select a time slightly more difficult: by default, expects the telephone company, which is probably the most DSL providers use or install on a normal telephone line. Assume that you want to be happy with the POTS>Internet connection; in fact, they have to install at least a minimum amount of such service for the DSL connection to work. The key word is minimum. The phone company is prepared to charge you for voice service, but it is irksome to spend money on a service that you are certain you will not use.

Fortunately, in most parts of North America, it's possible to avoid that expense. But don't expect that it necessarily will be easy.

DSL All By Its Lonesome

When you call your DSL provider to get a price quote for service, the magic term to ask for is "standalone DSL" (also referred to as "naked DSL" and less often as "dry DSL"). Technically speaking, standalone DSL is a DSL connection without analog telephony service -- what most people would describe as "without a dial tone."

Standalone DSL service has been available erratically in some geographies and with some telephone companies for at least a few years. But some users report on online discussion boards that their phone companies made the price distinction meaningless, such as charging only a Dollar less for DSL-only service than for DSL-plus-phone.

Today, you can expect to find the option available more widely because of a relatively recent agreeMent that AT&T made (reluctantly) with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency that controls the U.S. telecommunications industry. As part of the negotiation for the FCC to approve AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth, AT&T was obliged to begin offering naked DSL.

As a result, if you happen to live in an area that's serviced by these companies, you should be able to get AT&T's standalone DSL service for .95 - .99 per month, without needing to buy any other AT&T service, including phone.

Your local phone company may already offer an option for standalone DSL, but don't expect it to be an obvious choice on its Web site. Standalone DSL may be a convenience to you, but it isn't necessarily a convenience to them. Most of the "follow the bouncing ball" Menus don't even give you the option of no-phone-service-please. Realistically, if this is something that matters to you, you may need to pick up the phone and speak to a sales agent.

Should it matter to you? If you aren't sure when you last used your landline phone to make a call, it may be worth considering. Giving up a POTS service means that you probably won't be listed in the telephone directory or phone book, but for many people that isn't a hardship. Plus, depending on your geography, 911 calls may not go to the most-local dispatcher. Also, having a naked DSL line means having no dial tone - so, if something does go wrong with your line it will be harder to determine if your service has been interrupted.

It's up to you to decide if the cost savings are worth those inconveniences, assuming that the cost savings are significant enough, for your particular situation.

Most people don't need standalone DSL for there Internet Service; they want a regular telephone, too. However, for those with the unique requirement, it's great to pay for exactly what you need... and not a bit more.

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