Availability in apartments
Getting Naked ADSL is not as easy as it should be if you live in a large apartment complex (which is sometimes referred to as a multiple dwelling unit — or MDU). While ISPs may have no problem determining if standalone homes and small blocks of units will be able to get a Naked ADSL service, units with a vacant copper pair in large apartment blocks can't be easily connected. This is because in some cases the ISP can't accurately determine the exchange you are on and also can't verify whether your vacant copper pair is attached to a main distribution frame (MDF) in your building.
Some ISPs might refuse your connection unless you can guarantee them that you do indeed have a vacant copper pair that runs from your unit all the way to the MDF. In some cases, the ISP can perform these checks itself, but be sure you understand the terms and conditions and whether any extra fees will be involved. Sometimes ISPs recommend that you first get a phone service enabled on your vacant copper pair before applying for Naked ADSL, as this makes it much easier for the ISP to enable the Naked ADSL service. The drawback here is that you have to pay Telstra to put a phone service on the line, which can cost up to $130. If no copper wire connection exists between your apartment and the MDF, then you will need to notify the body corporate of the problem and proceed from there.
As mentioned previously, a key requirement for Naked ADSL being available to you is that the telephone exchange you are on must have your chosen ISP's hardware installed in it. For example, if you choose to go with a plan from iiNet, you will not be able to get Naked ADSL unless your exchange is fitted with iiNet's own DSLAMs, which are part of the iiNetwork.
Furthermore, customers on a Remote Integrated Multiplexer (RIM), which is a device that is used in areas where copper lines don't go directly from your home to a telephone exchange, won't be able to get Naked ADSL. This is because ISPs can't put their own DSLAMs in a RIM.
If you are on a Pair Gain System (PGS), in which the telephone line is split to go to different dwellings, this won't support a Naked ADSL service. A check on the line can be carried out to see if a procedure called 'transposition' can be performed, which removes the pair gain and connects your dwelling directly to the telephone exchange. Some ISPs can initiate this process for you, which can take six to eight weeks and won't cost anything. It's not always possible to be removed from a PGS.
You can apply for Naked ADSL if you have a vacant copper pair (you need to supply your ISP with your address details during your application so that it can ascertain whether you can get Naked ADSL) or a currently working phone line with a dial tone (you need to supply your ISP with your phone number so that it can ascertain whether you can switch over to Naked ADSL).
Which ISPs provide Naked ADSL?
This following ISPs currently have, or are planning to release, Naked ADSL plans.
- Adam Internet
- Always Online
- Go Talk
- Green Tree Frog
- Highway 1
- MyNetFone (plans to be announced at CeBit in May 2009)
- Spin Internet