Forget naked DSL, says Telstra: Our IT can’t handle it


news The nation’s largest telco Telstra has claimed in a submission to the competition regulator that it can’t deploy naked DSL broadband services to customers and other ISPs as doing so would require it to undertake significant development of its IT systems, which require a phone line to be connected before broadband can be provided.

A number of Telstra’s major rivals, such as iiNet and TPG, have sold so-called ‘naked DSL’ services, where ADSL broadband is provided to customers without the requirements of a bundled traditional PSTN telephone line, for half a decade. iiNet, for example, first launched naked DSL to customers in November 2007, and had 131,000 customers using the service in June last year. Many of iiNet’s customers bundle cheap IP telephony services with its naked DSL platform. However, Telstra has consistently declined to provide the service to customers, preferring instead to sell bundled services including monthly traditional PSTN line rental plans, which are typically more expensive than IP telephony options.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is currently examining the case for stronger regulation of the way in which Telstra provides wholesale ADSL services to retail ISPs such as iiNet, TPG and Optus. In a submission (PDF) to that process released last week (and first reported by iTNews), Telstra argued that the ACCC should not force is to provide new services such as a wholesale version of naked DSL.

“Telstra relies on the presence of an underlying active PSTN service for the ordering, assurance and provisioning of its ADSL products,” the telco wrote. “It is a technical requirement of Telstra’s OSS and BSS systems that ADSL services require an active PSTN service on the copper line. As such, a requirement to provide Naked ADSL services would require Telstra to undertake significant systems development and process changes … Telstra provides ADSL services to both retail and wholesale customers as a product provided on top of PSTN services,” Telstra wrote. “In this way, ADSL services are analogous to long distance calling services or messaging services.”

The telco added that this requirement of linking ADSL services to traditional PSTN telephone services was not a bundling construct — a product choice — but instead “a fundamental aspect of how Telstra has deployed ADSL technology on its network”, being “integral to how Telstra provides these services”.

Telstra argued that the ACCC did not have the power to require it to provide a wholesale naked DSL service to customers, as the telco did not sell naked DSL to its own retail customers. Companies such as iiNet use component parts of Telstra’s wholesale service to construct a naked DSL service to customers, but do not actually resell a naked DSL service per se as provided from Telstra.

” … it is unclear that access seekers (or end users) would benefit from the requirement to make such a service available,” wrote Telstra with respect to a wholesale naked DSL service. “Telstra considers that the existing options available to access seekers through the provision of Telstra supplied WDSL services, as well as ULLS and LSS-based ADSL services (either self-supplied, or acquired from other WDSL suppliers) provide access seekers with a wide choice for the delivery of ADSL services to end users. It is unclear that a requirement for Telstra to develop a new service would significantly increase the competitive options available to access seekers, or end users.”

“Given these uncertain benefits, it is unreasonable to require Telstra to undertake the significant technical and process developments required to enable the provision of Naked ADSL services on its network,” Telstra wrote. “More importantly, if Telstra were required to divert operational resources, engineering funding and management oversight to develop new Naked ADSL services, or to reengineer the ADSL network, it may impair the management of the NBN migration and its progress on the development of NBN-based services.”

Despite its unwillingness to modify its systems to sell either retail or wholesale naked DSL services, Telstra has actually conducted a trial in the past of naked DSL services on its network. The company kicked off a trial of naked DSL services in early June 2010, stating that it would conduct a two-year pilot of the services. However, the trial was quickly canned in October the following year, with the telco confirming it would not launch naked DSL as a commercial service.

It is believed that Telstra did not modify its IT systems to handle naked DSL during the trial, but instead applied billing credits to customers on the trial to cover the cost of their PSTN telephone service, in a manual process.

Telstra has recently undergone significant change with respect to its OSS and BSS systems. In 2006, for example, telecommunications publication Light Reading reported the company was involved in a massive overhaul of the IT platforms which would cost between $300 million and $400 million, cutting out more than 1,000 existing software systems along the way and utilising the services of technology providers such as Amdocs, IBM and Accenture. It is not clear why Telstra was not able to integrate services such as naked DSL during this revamp.

It’s hard not to laugh whenever you hear the latest excuses from Telstra on why it remains unable to launch naked DSL services, despite the fact that almost every other significant ISP and telco in Australia has done so, and despite the fact that it’s just been through a significant reworking of its OSS/BSS systems.

Perhaps the most hilarious aspect of Telstra’s ongoing debacle in this area is the fact that when Telstra launched fibre broadband services over the NBN, it required customers signing up for the services to continue to have a bundled copper telephone line connected to their premise as well. When you’ve got fibre, you shouldn’t need copper cable for anything. But with Telstra, it appears that you do. Absolute lunacy — but that is sometimes what passes for normal reality inside Telstra.

The fact is that if Telstra really wanted to launch naked DSL, it could do so. It could do so very quickly. It would require some re-architecting of its OSS and BSS IT systems, but that could be done, over the period of perhaps several years.

And another fact is that eventually Telstra will be eventually forced to do this anyway. When the NBN is rolled out, Telstra’s copper network will be disconnected. There will be no PSTN line to associate a customer’s account with. There will be no traditional phone line. There will only be a fibre connection. And Telstra’s billing system will need to handle this. With this in mind, Telstra had better get its IT systems sorted shortly. Because if it is still requiring customers in another half-decade to keep a copper telephone line connected, despite the fact that most people will have fibre, it will be the laughing stock of the global telecommunications industry.


  1. its boggles the mind that Telstra think they can get away with such a lame arse excuse.

    Their shareholders should be asking them wtf the business is doing if it cant handle a billing change to their ERP.

    • Tbh if i was a Telstra shareholder (which to me would be like investing in a tobacco company or maybe a small human trafficking ring) i would be applauding this. Telstra knows the value of their monopoly and they are jumping through the hoops required to protect it ie not selling naked adsl themselves and pretending its impossible to provision. Keep in mind that the cost of maintaining a copper line is conservatively estimated at around 2 dollars a year. So why would telstra want to remove their $262 (home line budget * 12 -2) tax on every australian.

      Telstra hate wholesaling and will only do it if forced, and as long as there “held together with sticky tape” internal systems dont charge people too little (which doesn’t seem to be telstras problem) the shareholders will be perfectly happy with this.

      Realistically though in 2012 who cares about naked dsl. Increased port costs for ULL ports have removed any cost savings and mobile plans have overtaken voip in domestic value (still makes sense for international calls). So you end up paying the same or more for a service with less features.

      • Eh? Telstra disclosed that maintaining the copper network costs nearly $1billion a year… how did you come up with your figure of $2? That would make Telstra’s copper network a $30 million per year maintenance job, rather than a $1 billion one.

        Also, think how often phone lines need to be repaired due to water ingress / oxidisation … at least every five years or so typically. You’re suggesting a technician visit only costs $10?

    • There’s no incentive for Telstra to provide naked DSL… it _wants_ to keep charging people monthly line rental. You can be sure that if there was a strong commercial incentive for Telstra to provide naked DSL, changing the billing system wouldn’t be an obstacle.

      However, you do have to also bear in mind the scale of Telstra’s operations. It is connecting many _thousands_ of customer lines every day, so the process has to handle the whole thing — it can’t be left to human intervention. That means everything has to be systematised, and you can’t just change things willy-nilly.

      Like I said, IF there was a strong commercial incentive for Telstra to do it, they would make it happen.

    • Haaa Haaa Telstra – There is NO Telstra, just a bunch of people working for a management team who are a bunch of cunts.

      Haaaa Fuck them!

      For $40 a month I get unlimited calls to all land lines and mobiles, and 4G of data for the internet – all from my cheapie Samsung clamshell phone.

      Yay Amaysim!!!!

      The people who manage Telstra are nothing but bullshit artists – they have been doing this crap for decades.

      Fuck them.

      Never getting another land line ever again, nor hiring them to do anything for me ever again.


      Bullshit artists!

  2. There is a saying, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Telstra is saying no way, but is it really no will?

    • Yes. There is no will.

      Telstra have NO incentive to do anything major with their copper network.

      (1) – If a customer comes to Telstra seeking Naked DSL, Telstra have to say no, and the customer goes to another ISP who can offer it, and that ISP is charged by Telstra to access the copper into the customer’s premise. Telstra get paid anyway, and it’s cost them less.

      (2) – There is no other copper network that can access every feasible premise in Australia, so Telstra has a market dominant position for last-mile access. Why would they want to throw money at a problem – (at least as far as they are concerned) – doesn’t exist?

      (3) – Presuming the NBN goes full term, they will soon lose 93% of premises access via their own network – so they aren’t going to throw barrels of money at infrastructure that should be largely inactive in about 8 or 9 years. It’s not a worthwhile investment – particularly since customers seeking Naked DSL will just go elsewhere – it’s not really any significant problem for them.

      So yes, there is no will.

  3. If you’ve ever dealt with telstra, it quickly becomes evident that telstra have lost control of their internal process complexity – they have a great network, but instead of fixing their systems, they’ve layered patch upon patch until the entire system is now a fragile mess.

  4. Why on earth would they spend millions on the required OSS/BSS work simply to remove a profit-making product bundling?

    It’s not going to happen as a standalone exercise.

  5. I don’t see the problem. Many other providers offer Naked DSL, so it’s readily available. Telstra offers services and products others don’t. It’s called competition. If Telstra believed it could make a decent amount of profit from Naked DSL itr would do so.

    • See my post- in areas outside of major cities those ‘other providers’ don’t have any equipment installed in the exchanges, so we don’t have that option.

      Don’t get me wrong though- I’d rather live where I do and enjoy the countryside than live in the city and have ‘proper’ naked DSL. Unlike some ‘country people’ I’m happy to accept that I’m not going to have access to the same services as city folk.

      • ” I’d rather live where I do and enjoy the countryside than live in the city and have ‘proper’ naked DSL. Unlike some ‘country people’ I’m happy to accept that I’m not going to have access to the same services as city folk. ”

        Wow… this is one of the most offensive posts I’ve read for a long time.

        I’m really glad that you’re able to “enjoy the countryside”. Maybe that’s because after living and working in the city for years, you made enough money to be able to retire to the lovely fresh-air and beutiful scenery of some non-urban paradise.

        Unfortunately (fortunately?) for the rest of us whinging country folk, many of us were born and raised in areas outside the city, and don’t see why we should be forced to move to a metropolis, just so we can have access to the reasonable services that most other people in this nation enjoy.

        For a large proportion of us, our roots and our livelihoods lay outside urban areas.

        I wonder how this country would fare if all of we “country whingers” just packed-up our bags and moved to the city so we could have broadband on tap, and a nice latte waiting for us after visiting the Theatre?

        We could close down the country hospitals and send the doctors back to the city. We’d have no need for those pesky towns and country councils, and the upkeep and maintenance costs for all that rural telecomms infrastructure would be vastly reduced. Oh… and no need to extend the NBN into those areas. A great cost saving.

        But wait… wouldn’t that make your lovely tree-change just a little bit sucky??? No supermarket in a nearby town to buy food for your table. No local medical support in case you have an accident on your lovely little farm. No rural store to fix your chainsaw when it breaks. No local jobs to support the people who were needed to make all this local infrastructure work.

        You see, this is what it’s all about.

        “Your” enjoyment of the countryside is reliant on thousands of other people, and the goods and services that their existance brings about for you… and everybody else like you. Those other people are simply going about their business and living their lives. But it’s the little “bits” that every one of them brings to the table, that makes-up the “whole” that is your enjoyment of the countryside.

        And all of it “needs” and is entitled to, the same services and benefits as any other person in this country, regardless of whether ot not thay happen to live and work in a city. Including an entitlement to participate in the benefits of Naked DSL… or a National Broadband Network.

        Without the rest of country society, you’re just some hillbilly existing in a shack somewhere out in the sticks. Even the dumb politicians can understand that.

        Homer, “you” may be happy to exist as a hillbilly out in the sticks, but the rest of us “country people” want as many services as can be reasonably provided. And we want them ASAP thank you very much.

        Thank goodness that (as was once proclaimed) “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.”

        • @ EmmaB i see your point. But I think Homer is right in insinuating that a lot of people that live in the country expect to be able to access services that simply need more people living near each other to make financially viable. The sense of entitlement is ridiculous. I live in a regional area and am quite aware that there are advantages to being in a small community, and disadvantages. World class health care is never going to be affordable to implement in every town in this country. And world class broadband isn’t either. Heck, where I live we are only getting digital tv this week (in a city of 38,000) and you should here the locals complain about the delay. You would think we didn’t have electricity the way people complain.

    • the problem is that naked dsl can only be provided where the isp has infrastructure.

      In places that have been built in the last 10 to 15 years telstra has used Rim Cabinet which do not allow access from other ISP’s and when other ISP’s have tried to gain access via a co-located CMUX or Rim they have not been allowed to access the network.

      This Removes the option for many Millions of people for naked DSL Because telstra will not allow the service.

  6. So essentially, things will continue as normal for those of us that don’t have access to anything other than Telstra-owned equipment:

    1)Find the cheapest, fastest internet plan you can get. For me, its unlimited ADSL2 with Club Telco for $60 per month
    2)Get the cheapest home phone plan per month (Currently Telstra Homeline Budget)
    3)Get a cheap VOIP plan (I use mynetfone’s ‘Whirlpool saver’ plan)
    4) Profit???

    As far as Telstra is concerned, I have a home phone that I never use (since all outgoing calls are via VOIP).

    The cost per month works out cheaper than any other option available in my area- I know of people that bundle everything with Telstra (or another telco) and they still pay more per month (and usually don’t have unlimited internet either).

  7. I thought that requiring someone to buy product B so they can get product A was prohibited under the trade practices act or its successor(s). How does Telstra get away with this crap? I have to have a Telstra phone service so that I can buy adsl from Exetel. I never make a phone call on Telstra. My bill is $28.95 every month. I get 100 calls on VoIP for $5.00 per month which includes Australian landlines and all of the international destinations that I need (UK, USA, Canada, NZ and France). So I can make 8 calls on VoIP for the price of one Telstra trunk call connect charge. I forgot to mention that my VoIP calls are timed, at 3 hours they get cut off, lol.

    • I think you’re referring to 3rd line enforcing. That’s like when a car yard sells you a car at a cheap price, but only of you use their finance company.
      I think this is slightly different though.

      • I believe the difference aries when the goods or services (typically insurance) in the car sale example come from a third party. When all the services come from the one “vendor”, it’s really just part of the offer price.

    • How about buying just Fox Sports, or just a movie channel from Foxtel? The supermarkets can’t get away with forciing you to buy a half-full trolley, when all you want is just a loaf of bread.

      • Mmmm, no, there’s a difference between a bundled package of channels which is supplied to Foxtel from other sources, that they then resell and buying individual items that have no relation to one another.

  8. How this would affect FTTN anyone? If the government doesn’t renegotiate to own the copper cables and the ducts, Telstra will charge you to rent the line in still, and then the internet connection to who ever you choose. Can’t escape the mighty Telstra, given a strong hold on the market when it was privatised and ever since, now the government have to clean up their monopoly that they gave them.

  9. I managed to be on the trial for the so called “PureDSL” which was telstra’s crack at naked DSL. After signing up, it was evident that it was no naked DSL at all, but a PTSN connection with blocking enabled on all outgoing calls.

    Telstra had major issues with billing in relation to the trial, with many customers needing to ring up each month to correct the bill. I myself had minor issues at first, but they were able to be resolved. I do believe telstra that they do not currently have the capabilities to implement Naked DSL, but obviously if they wanted to spend the money it would be quite possible to do.

    The trial has well and truly ended and we are now forced back onto the Telstra network. We have a fully functional home phone which is never used and we are paying twice what we were paying under the trial.

    • I was also on the “Naked ADSL” plan. Without warning I got a bill for double the amount. However, my land line was not unblock. After threatening to leave, I was offered a land line for $15 a month. So I only pay $5 a month extra but my quota has now been reduced from 200 GB to 50 GB. I also did manage to get the previous and current month at the old rate and quota.

      For those interested, I use.

      VOIP from Engin for unlimited local and interstate calls.
      VOIP from Pennytel for Mobile and overseas calls.

      I will be getting the NBN in the next 12 months and will be able to tell Telstra to shove their land line up the appropriate orifice.

    • @Jasontoheal

      Wouldn’t we all. But that will never, ever happen. It is simply not feasible for any telco to provide unlimited quota on wireless in this country. Ever.

  10. From Telstra’s perspective its cheaper to do billing modifications than modifying its voice line rules. Pretty much every work instruction to do with copper in Telstra involves an assumption that a voice dial-tone service exists. Everything operates from that assumption. Even if you remove the voice dial-tone, pretty much all the activities required for the copper would remain and need to be paid for.

    From the perspective of cost to the customer, regardless of whether or not the dial-tone is there.. the cost of that port to provide DSL service would be the same either way. The ACCC takes into account the cost of copper line rental when they determine the cost of Telstra’s wholesale DSL ports. If you remove the requirement of line rental, then the wholesale DSL port costs would automatically increase to compensate.

    Its the same reason why for 3rd party ISPs, Naked DSL costs more than ordinary DSL without line rental. ULL costs a lot more than LSS.. so Naked DSL costs a lot more to the ISP.

  11. Renai, your commentary is what’s laughable.
    ” It could do so very quickly…. over the period of perhaps several years.”
    So which is it? And it makes sense to make this investment this over the next several years, just as NBN is making the entire product obsolete?
    You then make the ignorant comment that the billing system needs to be fixed to handle NBN without PSTN. So you know it’s the billing system that is the current constraint?

    You’re mocking Telstra for making a valid business decision, i.e. the investment is not justified by the expected return. Should I start mocking you for running ads on your website, presumably also a valid business decision.

    • Simon, it’s a change from the regular Vodafone bashing articles… oh sorry “opinion” pieces.. on here…

      Why should Telstra be forced to offer Naked DSL… it is a free market, if a customer wants Naked they can go elsewhere… Telstra are still the biggest ISP in the country by subs, so not having Naked is not causing any damage to them.

      TPG do not offer NBN connections, but Telstra does… write an article about how TPG’s systems are horrid and that it’s laughable…

      • @Michael

        I want naked DSL- I can’t get it ‘elsewhere’. I don’t live in a 3rd party DSLAM area. I live an hour south of Sydney in a town of 30000. Tell me, where’s that competition you were talking about.

        Perhaps there is a reason Telstra aren’t doing this I dunno, say MONEY FOR THE MONOPOLY??

        Finally, Renai doesn’t VF bash- he tells it like it is. Outside of cities, VF is useless and inside some it’s as good as.

      • Yeah I can understand in a normal situation free market rules applying to Telstra, but they had a bit of a head start and now there are special rules for them.

    • A period of several years is actually quite short for this kind of project — I view it as a highly optimistic estimate. But the fact remains that this project is necessary in the long-term anyway so that Telstra can adapt its billing systems to the NBN. Largely the same billing systems will be used for the NBN and the copper network — it’s not a case of replacing the whole shebang.

      “You then make the ignorant comment that the billing system needs to be fixed to handle NBN without PSTN. So you know it’s the billing system that is the current constraint?”

      Yup. Telstra said so. Read the article.

      “Should I start mocking you for running ads on your website, presumably also a valid business decision.”

      Plenty of people do :) Of course, if you start doing this, I will ban you from commenting on Delimiter for at least a week. Just another valid business decision :)

      • Sorry, I can’t see where they said ‘billing’, or where they said they had to enable Naked DSL just to be able to sell NBN products (not sure on what planet that makes sense).

        You’ve just made it up and used it as the whole basis of your opinion.
        And it is ignorant.

          • It’s unfortunate that when confronted with informed commentary you either fail to understand the message or deliberately refuse to accept it.

          • /chokes/ over that last paragraph….

            you are right that you didnt see where ” they said they had to enable Naked DSL just to be able to sell NBN products” because that is not what was said.

            as for billing, are you seriously saying you do not understand english? you did read those links right?

            “Role of business support systems(BSS): (…) – revenue management”

            and “The complementary term business support systems or BSS is a newer term and typically refers to “business systems” dealing with customers, supporting processes such as taking orders, processing bills, and collecting payments. The two systems together are often abbreviated OSS/BSS, BSS/OSS or simply B/OSS.”

            again, Telstras quote from Renais article above: “It is a technical requirement of Telstra’s OSS and BSS systems that ADSL services require an active PSTN service on the copper line”. that same policy is being required – enforced actually, on NBN services that have no technical need whatsoever for PSTN. When Telstra then quote theyd need ‘significant … process developments’ to change things they are talking about those B/OSS systems being re-coded to provide a billing path for fibre or naked services, that doesnt require a Telstra flunkey to correct for the lack of PSTN every month. in this case the technical issues to fix arent that onerous; its working around the inertia of a massive billing system – much like very big ships, once at speed are hard to stop or turn around.

            this is something they really should be doing/have done, but for vested interest purposes havent had the stomach to do.

          • You’re just as ignorant (I’m going to keep using that word because it’s accurate). So Telstra make an incredibly broad statement about OSS and BSS (just how many of these systems do you think they have), and suddenly it’s ‘billing’ that’s at fault, and this same technical constraint is the reason for the NBN stuff. You’re both commenting on something you have no idea about, and Renai’s used it as the whole basis for his analysis.

          • if you are going to call us ignorant but not provide evidence for why billing is NOT the problem area you are not interested in any serious discussion here – we call that trolling. which other B/OSS system is it that is holding things up? what is YOUR call as to why Telstra finds it necessary to run a copper line in a fibre estate? identify it to us so we can progress withthe discussion rather than insulting us. if we are wrong – provably so – fine. otherwise, its not a discussion and merely an argument from insult, which i find deeply unsatisfying……and which doesnt belong here.

          • The combination of providing copper for voice and NBN for data is not related to the whole Naked DSL issue, by the way.

  12. Well played Telstra. Well played. Using the excuse of ‘the NBN work will suffer’ to ensure you hold onto your $28 a month from all 4 million of your PSTN customers….that’s $112 million a year….why wouldn’t you fight to keep it and play dirty.

    Well played….

    • errr waitaminnit…. 112m/month i think you mean? for year it would be:

      28*4000000=112000000 *12=1344000000 ?

      112m is good, if you can get it. 12x that much, its hardly surprising they are scrapping for it.

      im still baffled they did their backend (BSS/OSS) systems over and did NOTHING to prepare for the NBN, even as they would have been going through the Telstra/NBNco negotiations at the time. and even if that fell through PSTN is on a limited lifetime anyways….. why would you NOT lay in systems for whatever replaces it? the whole FTTH over PSTN thing is a bit kafkaesque, that to have a ‘working’ fibre service you also needed a copper run (!).

      for a company that seems so technologically ahead in the mobile space, they are positively antediluvian when it comes to fixed lines. that might eventually being a liability to them, cant come fast enough i say.

  13. I’m not surprised at further evidence of Telstra’s duplicity. Telstra’s copper phone line and cable pass my gate, but they claim to lack the technology to run the cable over or under a 1 metre concrete path surrounding my house and they refuse to give me naked ADSL. I’ve therefore existed in a crowded suburb entirely by wireless for over 7 years. I have a wireless internet connection, VOIP running on it for long-distance and international calls and cheap PAYG SIM-only cellphone plans. I doubt the NBN will be able to pass my path eventually, either.
    I currently have both Telstra and Vodafone modems and the Vodafone one is not only more reliable, but often faster. The total cost is about what friends pay and the positive aspect is that the slower speed of wireless makes using a proxy server and the TOR network less obvious than it would seem with the faster fibre, cable, or ADSL2.

    • @Paleoflatus

      I can tell you right now, they are lying about the HFC passing you. They don’t want to connect you because of contention, unless you are in an apartment, in which case it’s because ‘they can’t do so without permission to connect the entire apartment from the body corporate’ which is a nice way of saying ‘we don’t want to spend the money. The copper well that’s just ridiculous. They don’t have the technology to dig up a footpath?? Again, it’s just short for ‘we don’t want to spend the money’.

      Also, if you have Telstra HFC passing you, you WILL get the NBN fibre. When is up to where you are, have a check of the rollout map to see if you are in the 3 year rollout, but you WILL get it if Telstra HFC passes your house.

      • “Also, if you have Telstra HFC passing you, you WILL get the NBN fibre”

        Hopefully. There’s HFC in my street but not in the 3 year plan! So there’s no “WILL” about it for me :-/

        As an aside, I was tempted when they had the 200GB Ultimate cable + Homeline Budget bundle for $78/month, but since we had just found out we were expecting twins we had to cut many things, including not increasing the monthly Internet bill (40+21 for TPG ADSL2+HLB). This was cheaper than the same plan stand alone. So apparently it costs a negative amount to provide a phone line!

        If Telstra can provide Internet over HFC why not ULL?

        • @Ben Zemm

          Hopefully. There’s HFC in my street but not in the 3 year plan! So there’s no “WILL” about it for me :-/

          Mmmm, no, you will get it. As I said, it’s a matter of when, not if…..oh, unless you mean the election….in that case….yeah….

          If Telstra can provide Internet over HFC why not ULL?

          They do. ULL is the Unbundled Local Loop. It is the copper line from the DSLAM at the exchange to the customers house. It can be “leased” to 3rd parties for naked DSL use IF they have their own DSLAM’s in the exchange. Otherwise, it’s LSS (Line Sharing Service) to use the Telstra DSLAM to provide ADSL….and you MUST rent the line (hence LINE Sharing Service) meaning you have to pay line rental on top of ADSL…..

  14. For all those people calling this a lame excuse and to Renai for stating “The fact is that if Telstra really wanted to launch naked DSL, it could do so. It could do so very quickly.” I am assuming you haven’t worked inside of Telstras environment recently.

    The are still trying to get there stuff together so they can offer services without a PSTN number, It is fundamental to there systems and to get around it is quite difficult. Hence the service credits when it came to the Naked DSL trial.

    Mind you it is hilarious but they fact of the matter is they are still a Gorilla and are very very slow moving and very bureaucratic still and dont have the ability to move and make changes easily, hence it could not do a change like this very quickly.

    But don’t you just love it when people make assumptions and statements when they don’t know the full story.

    • I do know the full story behind Telstra’s IT transformation and have been reporting on it for sevenish years now. The fact is that they could have factored this in back in 2005 when they started it. But they didn’t. They still need to revisit this situation.

      • No dis-respect Renai. I appreciate your articles and have probably been reading your reporting for the last 5ish odd years (sorry I don’t comment much) however have you ever worked inside Telstra?

        And yes they should have factored that in back in 2005 but under the leadership of Sol they were to pig headed to separate out requirements like that. (Mind you they are trying to scramble to get it done now but it is by no means quick or easy)

        • I think there are two factors at play here.

          Firstly, there’s the IT systems segment, which I agree is not insignificant — it’s a huge issue which Telstra has been wrestling with for some time as they evolve away from the PSTN as the primary determinant of service identity.

          However, there is a secondary commercial element of Telstra not wanting to get into naked DSL, or, in fact, any service which doesn’t come with a bundled telephone line. The reluctance in this area (and the reason is obvious, they want to retain profit margin and avoid commoditising their own service) has fuelled the delay in the IT systems modernisation side.

          And no, I have never worked within Telstra, thank the flying spaghetti monster :) And all things being well, I never will.

          I agree with your comments about bureaucracy, gorilla etc — I think we are largely on the same page about this. Telstra is getting better over the years, however — especially with David Thodey at the helm.

          • “And no, I have never worked within Telstra, thank the flying spaghetti monster :) And all things being well, I never will.”

            Then you should refrain from offering an opinion on how long it would take to implement the changes you require for a product Telstra doesn’t want to sell. I have worked there and I know what a bunch of pig-headed dicks they have in charge of IT architecture. Certainly they could and should have sorted this out with the IT transformation project. Absolutely certainly the idiots in charge wouldn’t know why it was necessary let alone attempt to do it. They really are more stupid than you can imagine.

          • Agreed CMOT – I couldn’t have said it better myself.

            Not to mention some of the project managers they have running up technical projects. They literally (and I don’t joke) have no technical knowledge and make things worse than better.

          • Why if people on the internet stopped offering their opinions on matters they have never dealt with, there would be no need for the NBN :) *hides back in the corner* Peace!

          • The rot started in the late 80’s when the Professional Managers with no technical knowledge and ego’s that precluded working with the tech and practical experts. Literally a Seagull feast and we are paying the price now. I still have my TRACS mug. I remember talking to the DRAKE guru’s who were doing their thing assessing the Telecom Business prior to the Corporisation. Not interested in function or operation, just doing a stock take and pricing and cross pricing exercise. The Seagulls had a field day with their report/results.
            The systems they put in were a laugh, e.g Horsham tech sent to a fault in Ararat passing the Ararat tech on the way to a fault in Horsham. Normal practice. Walk into any unstaffed exchange and most of the alarm systems were disabled, faults only attended to when a customer reported a fault, even then only that, not necessarily the cause attended to.
            I gave up trying to work with Seagull upper management, trouble is they seem to flock almost everywhere

          • Just a question, what does Telstra do in South Brisbane in their new fibre area?
            Sorry if I missed this point if it has been made.

          • In South Brisbane, where the copper is getting switched off, and the exchange it is connected to is getting demolished, Telstra still charges me for an entirely fictional phone line I don’t need and did not want. The old copper phone line is no longer connected to anything inside my premises. It’s not needed for any technical reasons, as it technically no longer exists. It’s entirely a fictional phone line. I still don’t use any Telstra phone services.

            Before this Telstra fibre “upgrade” was forced on me, I had naked ADSL+ through some other company. Now I no longer have the choice to not pay for a fictional phone line I won’t use. At least I don’t have to pay for a battery backup system for a phone system I don’t use. Small comfort.

      • Or rather I should say they are trying to get ready for the NBN and not requiring a PSTN service, which is there current stupid plans. They wouldn’t care to bits about providing Naked DSL it is not in there financial interests.

        • “They wouldn’t care to bits about providing Naked DSL it is not in there financial interests.”

          Exactly… welcome to Australia’s alternate Broaband plan, Turnbull style :-(

    • The PSTN number requirement is annoying. When I bought my house I couldn’t get Internet connected for two months because the previous owner moved into a place without an existing phone line (brand-spanking retirement village just around the corner from the house) and it took them that long to connect his new line, which blocked the order for our line!

  15. Great article, Renai, and I agree that it is ridiculous for Telstra to state that they can’t deliver Naked DSL because of IT constraints. The real reason is the same reason they have held this country back for decades. They want to perpetuate the status quo for as long as possible to extract maximum profit from the current situation. Oh God, I hate Telstra!

  16. There’s another reason why Telstra require a PSTN connection to provide ADSL, and the fact that their trial “Naked” service still had the PSTN present, although outgoing calls were blocked: TESTING.

    Telstra uses many automated systems and all consumer type services are connected to the PSTN because that’s how remote testing & diagnosing of lines is done. Historically the testing is done via the PSTN exchange equipment so if you report a fault the line can be tested – this is one of the first things a consultant will do if you report a fault. From there it can be passed to the correct area.

    Without remote testing capability the only way to test a line is to send a tech out to physically put their test gear on the line – very expensive and time consuming. Also consider the service guarantees Telstra needs to comply with and the increased number of techs that would be required. I can see why Telstra doesn’t want to go down that path AND lose out on PSTN revenue.

  17. Come on, people!

    Have we really lost sight of the fact that one of the principal motives behind the NBN was to overcome this kind of bollocks? We are not a nation of shareholders – god save us if we were – but for these people to assume that everyone sees the world like a Telstra shareholder (who else could see this stuff to be credible? Go on, over there, you! You don’t own any shares, do you? The rest of you: put your hand up if you don’t own any shares!)) is extraordinary. Actually, it isn’t: Telstra has been foisting this view on the populace for years, and getting away with it.

    Here it is again.

    Another memory jog: copper decays. It’s the principle of entropy at work. Telstra doesn’t subscribe to this principle. Nor does Rhodes scholar(!) Mr Rabbit. The copper is stuffed. That is why when Telstra was given the copper network – a national asset at the time – they stated that they would not be investing in maintaining or extending the copper. Remember? And we were then invited to buy shares in Telstra.


    Telstra adopts this position – it is a technical issue, really – in the way they always have. As a threat. Now, you go home and polish that phone up, because we might come to inspect it. Expect us any time of the day or night. When something went wrong with our PMG phone when I was a kid, my mother used to panic, because the PMG people could come and inspect the place, to see if we were deserving of having a PMG phone on our porperty.

    Go on! Be a good citizen! Get yourself a Telstra phone line. And pay for it. Even though you know you don’t need to.

    You’ll sleep better, comfortably numb.

  18. This whole episode is outrageous and their excuse must be repudiated.
    If their IT systems can’t handle the change, how the hell are they handling the switch to NBN provisioning?
    What a crock Telstra!!

    • Check the Telstra NBN plans, note the required PSTN service, expensive anyhow , then plus not needed PSTN line on top

  19. Please, PLEASE roll on NBN so that I can switch everything over completely.

    I am sick of the spin doctoring endured over the last decade in particular – it’s relentless.

    No Telstra. I don’t think 256/64kbit is “broadband” or ever was given 1.5mbit was available at launch
    No Telstra. ADSL2+ is not a long term solution given we don’t all live next to the exchange and asynchronous transfer is increasingly limiting in a media rich Internet.
    No Telstra. I don’t believe that fully routeable mobile data is technically difficult so quit stifling mobile inbound VOIP and make the extranet apn defacto.
    No Telstra. I don’t buy that 25c per text message is reflective of your cost to transmit 160 characters over your digital network
    No Telstra. I don’t believe that your mobile data services are any kind of substitute for cabled infrastructure. Latency and congestion on this shared medium are important – not your 40mbit *theoretical* downstream only bitrate
    No Telstra. I don’t accept that increasing local/13* call costs is doing me a favour because “adjusted for inflation” I’ve saved so much over 9 years.
    No Telstra. I don’t think you can police your own rampant gouging with an “Industry Code” you developed with other telco oldboys
    No Telstra. I don’t buy this crap about naked services being technically infeasible anymore than when you couldn’t wholesale your ADSL2 network.

    Yes, Telstra. I realise you’re a public company and will attempt to turn a buck at any given opportunity but the days of the massive competitive advantages you have been given are drawing to an end and we all know how scared you are of competition. Enjoy your $12B though.

  20. The quicker we go to FTTP by NBN the better.
    All ISPs will all be on a level playing field, and us poor suffering plebs. will actually have some choice in providers.
    Bring on the NBN (not Turnbulls FTTN) and bring on true competition into the retail market.

  21. Renai,

    I think you vastly underestimate the issues with implementing this from a systems point of view from Telstra’s end. It is actually a fundemental change to the way ALL of their systems work from a provisioning standpoint and would require major IT work and reprogramming.

    It would be a massively expensive change. Why should they be forced to do this when people who want naked DSL already have the option of getting it via another provider via existing constructs?

    • You’re right, I have no idea about IT projects, especially in the telecommunications field, and no right to comment on the matter or ridicule Telstra for not being able to sell naked DSL like its competitors have been for five years.

      • “and no right to comment on the matter…” Like heck you don’t! I love your opinion/analysis section at the end of your articles, it makes it sound like the article was written by a human and not just copied and pasted by some nutjob on the internet from another site, while leaving debate open with having a comments posting for the average reader… and You actually reply to people’s comments.
        Now back to reading more articles! :)

  22. Correct me if I am wrong, but read an article sometime ago where Telstra was wholesaling Opticom services

  23. Having worked in Telco for most of the past decade, and understanding Telstra’s wholesale-product systems, I do not think it is too much work to offer this product wholesale.

    There has been talk of the ULLSID (Unbundled Local Loop Service ID) – this is more used within Telstra cable systems, and has much less to do with billing or retail/wholesale services.

    More to the point, the latest ACCC and Telstra positions are about Retail & Wholesale products using Retail Minus Retail Costs (Telstras sell price, minus its cost of business = wholesale sales price). Without the ability to sell the product retail, Telstra has a better argument from witholding it from Wholesale.

    Telstra use an FNN or Full National Number for almost all services – however an FNN does not need to have numbers, or be dialed from the PSTN. They are used for ISDN trunk lines, ATM access ports – PAPLs, SHDSL – the lot. You may notice that Payphones also have an FNN that has letters in it. (ie: 0294K2346L)

    The claim that billing systems are not capable of selling the product are not really correct – however I do have more concerns with respect to support and testing, as most of Telstra tests are done from the PSTN equipment in the exchange, and not the DSLAM. This also allows Telstra to test PSTN lines when there is an SSS based DSL provider.

  24. As we all know, you don’t need to tell the truth. All you need is profit. Under our laws these days, it trumps everything.
    Disagree? There are plenty of examples out there where it has been done.

    • @EP

      Interesting. They are capable of it, but I can see if they had to do that to all wholesale customers, it would get troublesome. In saying that, I still think it’s a load of bollocks- they COULD do it….they just don’t want to as it outs them of more line rental.

  25. its just a pitty that telstra does not know the difference between profit and greed telstra is famous for ripping of pensioners for as long as i can remember i also hate telstra so get of your lazy arse telstra and give us naked broadband you pack of mongrells

  26. I will be using Unlimited Naked DSL and my ISP here in New Zealand, Slingshot, just mutes the dail tone of analogue telephony service over the PSTN. As I understand it, Phone services are still techically intacted and active but just not in use. Why doesn’t Telstra just do that?

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