Who’s naked now?


covadlogoFor past few weeks the blogsphere has been abuzz about Speakeasy rolling out a naked DSL offering. Well true, but not entirely. You see I am a speakeasy customer and when I signed up for the service, the whole process of switching from SBC to Speakeasy took a few days. The email alerts that Speakeasy sent me, kept me updated on the progress. One of them said, that the circuit had been provisioned by Covad. I remembered that, and today I got to look into it. It seems that Covad which has gone totally naked with its DSL offerings, and Speakeasy is one of the many smaller players which is going to be re-selling this offering.

“While some DSL providers have talked about offering “naked DSL,” Covad has taken the first step to market it nationwide,” says Kate Gerwig, analyst with research firm, Current Analysis. “With the increasing emphasis on Voice over IP (VoIP) and wireless substitution for traditional voice services, Covad can increase its wholesale and retail base by offering DSL as a stand-alone service – dedicated-loop ADSL – which puts DSL on more of a par with high-speed cable services that aren’t always bundled with a voice line.” (Here is my piece on Covad-VoIP)

I think the next company to announce this will be AT&T, which also happens to be Covad customer. Having taken its lumps in the UNE-P fight, Ma Bell could easily bundle VoIP services riding on this naked DSL line. As Gerwig points out, “Enticing customers to sign up for VoIP is much more difficult when DSL customers are forced to bundle a traditional voice line. But packaging dedicated-loop DSL with VoIP creates a next-generation bundle of services that can be delivered on one bill.” I will go one step further – I think AT&T should make an investment in Covad, lest it be screwed by SBC again. (SBC by the way owns a nice chunk of Covad!)

Here is my piece, Covad – The Real Broadband Company.

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