Perth-based iiNet launched its naked DSL broadband service today, making it the first Australian ISP to offer the service nationally through its ADSL2+ network, according to the company.
Naked DSL provides high speed broadband access without the need for a landline phone service or line rental.
Customers can receive and make free untimed local and national phone calls using the iiTalk broadband phone service (a VoIP enabled modem is required), which is included in all naked DSL home and business plans.
Uploads are now counted towards monthly plan quotas for the first time.
The company's CTO Greg Bader says the naked DSL product is about giving customers the opportunity to pay only for what they need.
"This came about from feedback from our customers who are saying that they are not using the PSTN [public switched telephone network] line in their house, they are already using VoIP," Bader said.
"We've been able to get this out onto the market so the customer does not have to pay for line rental for a service they are not using."
Bader said naked DSL is an evolution of broadband services - a tailored package to suit people that have specific requirements.
"If you don't require a PSTN line and you are happy to use a VoIP service then this is for you," he said.
Users plug their existing telephone into the modem instead of the wall socket. Mobile calls are charged at 29 cents per minute, and international rates vary according to the country called.
iiTalk includes free services such as call forwarding, call waiting, voice mail, voice messaging to email and three way calling. A fair use policy applies, and iiNet says that in most cases customers can keep their existing phone number.
Naked DSL is not recommended for people who require the use of fax machines, monitored alarms, digital pay TV, EFTPOS machines and other services that require the use of a phone line.
"I agree the product is not for everybody," Bader said.
"But for people that are fairly average broadband users, people that use a mobile phone a lot or people that like the VoIP service, [with Naked DSL] they can call fellow customers for free, and make local and national calls for free."
Bader said that a "hell of a lot" of customers had already signed up to the service, and that iiNet plans to introduce video calling within the next 12 months.
For more information on naked DSL, visit iiNet's FAQ page here.