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Save Money – Get DSL Without a Phone Line

12 Nov

+ 10

Here is a great tip that could save you over $500 a year:  You no longer need to keep a home phone just for internet access.

Costs and Savings

Historically, DSL or “Digital Subscriber Line” worked over your home phone line, which forced us to have to pay for basic phone service in order to get DSL.

Not only is this no longer true, but you would be astounded how much money you could save by eliminating the phone cost.

For example, my wife and I never use our home phone – it was a number we gave out to people that we didn’t want to talk to.  For this ability we were paying the BARE MINIMUM $9 a month.  But after scrutinizing our bill each month, we were actually paying $22 with all the surcharges and taxes added in.  FOR BARE MINIMUM SERVICE AND NO PHONE PLAN.

If you add a phone plan and long distance, you can easily be paying $40 or $50 a month.  And most of you don’t realize that you are paying probably another $10 a month for Caller ID, *69 and other product.  My mother-in-law pays over $60 a month!

Here are the current published rates for AT&T DSL with Phone:

AT&T Normal Rates

and then for just DSL:

AT&T Naked DSL Rates

So although you will pay about $10 extra for the naked DSL, you should be saving $20 – $40 in phone charges.

My Experience

I found out about this last year when I saw a story about Naked DSL from Arstechnica, and then went about figuring out how to make it work.  I called my carrier, AT&T, and asked for “Naked DSL”.

The representative was surprised I knew of the term and proceeded to ask me how I knew of it and even told me of the savings.

At one point in the call, he tried to “do his job” by telling me that I could get basic phone service for “just” $9 a month.  I replied, “After all the fees it was more like $20”, and he laughed and agreed. (Pretty funny he said that.)

All in all it took a solid thirty minutes where I learned the following:

  1. Instead of a phone number, I would have a “Dry Loop Number”.  So when I call in and they ask for my phone number, this is what I give them.  DON’T EVER LOSE THIS NUMBER – TRUST ME.
  2. To switch over to my new “number”, I needed to schedule a day for it to happen where I can be without internet service for a bit.

I scheduled the switch-over to happen while I was out of town for Independence day, so when I would get back it would just be magically working.

But then we started getting bills from AT&T with my old phone number for 0 dollars two months in a row.

Then our internet just stopped working.

When I called AT&T, they asked for my phone number, and not knowing that I had to remember my Dry Loop Number, they couldn’t help me.  They told me to look at my bill, but it only showed my old number.

After about two hours of holding, screaming, and talking to supervisors, someone finally found my number.

Apparently my account was not transferred correctly over, so for the last month I was still using my old internet account, which just got shut off.

They fixed the problem, and then after I rebooted my modem, internet was back on.

Caveats

I have found that the main way the carriers will scare you into keeping your phone is by telling you that you won’t have 911 access.  So be aware that if you really want this ability, you need to keep your phone.  We have several cell phones, so as long as one is always near us, it isn’t that important.

Secondly, if you have a home security system that relies on having a home phone, you will either have to upgrade it to to use a wireless module (which is safer anyway), use a service that can communicate over the internet, or turn it off.

In Conclusion

With people looking for many ways to save money, this could be a simple action, with minimal impact to do so.

While it is not for everyone, it is a no-brainer for those willing to try it.

I just discovered your article about the dsl without a phone line. HOORAY! My phone bill is huge. Would you mind answering a couple of dumb questions?

1. Is this a dial up service of sorts?
2. Is there a way to fax through this service? I have a new HP all in one and I think it has a wireless card. Not sure though.

Thanks!

Not having a phone line does make faxing more difficult, but not impossible.

Since I don’t need to send that many faxes, this is what I do:

I have a free efax.com phone number that people can fax to that sends all faxes to my email. That handles all inbound faxes for free.

For outbound faxes, I found http://faxzero.com/ which allows you to send one free fax outbound per day.

If you need to send more outbound faxes per day, I only know of two choices.

1. If you are sending faxes nationally, then you can get an efax pro account which allows you to “email” your faxes.

2. If you are sending faxes locally, you can just sign up for basic phone service.

For me, even with basic $4.95 phone service, after all the fees I am still paying the same as an efax Pro account.

Your article was very helpful. Thank you for posting it.

Based on your answer to Kathleen, I looked on efax.com to sign up for the free account. I didn’t see that option. Do you know if they still offer it?

I’m trying to get DSL service with no phone line. Other than Earthlink, I cannot find a provider. Do you have recommendations other than Earthlink as a provider?

Thank you, very much, for your help!

Sharon

Yes they do:

http://www.efax.com/efax-free

Did you try AT&T for your DSL? That is what I have.

Thanks, Scott, for the response. I was able to get the free fax account with efax via your link.

I found out today I can get Dry Loop DSL through Verizon. AT&T doesn’t service my area. The cost is $41.99/mo for 3MBG. Comparatively priced to AT&T. There is a one year commitment obligation.

Again, I appreciate your help and quick response.

Best,
Sharon

My phone company, Windstream, told me I could not have DSL without having a phone line. I called them back after reading this thread, and I asked for DSL with a dry loop number. The representative said, “no problem. I can set that up for you.” She then told me next how much money I would save per month. So far. So good. Thank you for a very helpful and infromative web notice.

I found this at this website so is this service really available?

http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2007/12/att-offers-20-naked-dsl-if-you-know-where-to-look.ars

AT&T offers $20 naked DSL, if you know where to look
By Jacqui Cheng | Last updated December 31, 2007 3:03 PM
As customers continue to shift their telephone needs away from traditional landlines and over to cell and VoIP services, DSL users still face the problem of hanging onto broadband without their landline phone connection. Speakeasy has made a name for itself by offering naked DSL, but it’s not available in all areas, and most telcos would rather not give up a major revenue generator by allowing customers to bypass the landline. But AT&T agreed earlier this year, as part of its conditions for acquiring BellSouth, that it would introduce a standalone DSL option by the end of 2007.

As pointed out to us by DSL Reports, that day has already come and gone without much fanfare from AT&T. The company began offering its $19.95 DSL-only service on December 20, which apparently comes without contract and no landline. However, some digging around AT&T’s site yields—to no one’s surprise—confusing and conflicting options.

The service is referred to as DSL Lite, but the only mention of DSL Lite I could find on AT&T’s site is in a press release about the service’s introduction in the Southwest in June. There is, however, a similarly-priced $19.99 DSL option that does require a landline, but has no contract (that’s clearly not it). Finally, I was able to find an AT&T Yahoo! High-Speed Internet “Basic” option for $19.95 per month with a downstream speed of up to 768kbps—it has no landline requirement but it does apparently require a one-year contract. The next tier up, “Express,” appears to be the closest to this mythical, contract-less $20 deal I can get where I live—it goes for $23.99 with no landline, no contract, and offers 1.5Mbps down. That’s not a bad deal, but if we’re picking nits, it’s clear that AT&T is making this $19.95 option difficult to find and relatively undesirable.

That should come as no surprise, though. In June, AT&T (also quietly) introduced a $10 DSL option as part of its merger agreement. The 768Kbps down, 128Kbps up service came with a landline, came with a one-year contract, and was limited to new customers only. It was slightly more buried in the company’s web site than the new naked DSL option, too, leading critics to blast the company for not doing enough to advertise the new service. In August, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson defended the move, claiming that it wasn’t difficult to find at all, but that customers just plain didn’t want the $10 option.

As is the case with the $10 DSL offering, AT&T is only required to offer the $20 naked DSL option for the next two and a half years. After that, the company is free to make whatever changes it wants to the service. Given how little it has marketed either option, it’s pretty clear that when those two and a half years are up, AT&T will probably kill them both off.

Sorry I could not get permission to copy and paste this article maybe you should delete it but what does this mean? I tried to contact the site but to no avail.

It’s not really worth it for me. I have basic plan, no long distance on residential line, but it only comes out to about $47 a month. Therefore, for a $2 saving, I would rather keep the land line and be able to make local calls as well as internet.

Thank you Scott for all you do.
So I just contracted online with ATT the naked DSL for $20 for the first year (after being told on the phone that I could only get UVerse) I have a landline with Comcast that I want to cancel. Can I do it or do I necessarily have to get a dry loop number from ATT before I cancel Comcast? I was given an account number that looks like a phone number

Thank you so much for your priceless information,
Maria

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