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Dry copper

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Dry copper, dry copper loop or dry DSL refer to DSL service on a telephone line that does not include voice service. The term dry simply means that there is no telephone voice service on that line.

Here in the 21st century many people are using cell phones for communication and do not have home land-line telephones, but still want DSL service. This leads to a requirement for a phone line to just carry DSL service and not voice service.

This page will provide some additional information that the NCF DSL sign-up page does not explain. See that page for how to sign up for dry copper as a new service.

Cancelling Voice Service and Signing up for Dry Copper

Signing up for NCF's DSL via dry copper as a new service is easy. Changing over from having voice service to dry DSL while retaining your existing NCF DSL service is a little bit more complex, but can still be done. It involves cancelling your voice service (for instance, with Bell) and then starting dry DSL service. Note that we need minimum of five (5) days notice to switch the service, as Bell treats this as a new installation. This will result in an interruption of DSL, but with some planning this can be kept to a minimum.

Here are the steps:

  1. Cancel your voice service with your service provider and ensure that you get the service end date. You also need to get a confirmation number. Note that if you wish to port your phone number to an alternate provider (say, VoIP), the process is similar with another twist - contact NCF for details
  2. Contact NCF with the voice service termination date AND confirmation number. NCF will aim to start your dry DSL service the same day.

Cancelling your phone service should not incur any costs unless you are breaking a contract. Changing over to dry DSL involves two charges from Bell, who own the equipment, which are charged to NCF and passed onto you. These are:

  • An installation charge that Bell Canada charges to start the dry DSL service of $49.95 + tax.
  • A monthly line charge from Bell Canada for your dry copper service of $7.00 + tax.

Potential Problems When Changing to "Dry" DSL

Changing a line to "dry" DSL cancels the voice service on that line. Canceling the voice service will disable any service that uses the voice service. Examples include:

  • Apartment entry control systems that use the voice service. Some entry systems use a panel at the front door with buttons or other means to contact the occupant of a particular apartment. The panel dials a telephone number that has been programmed into the system for that apartment, the occupant answers, and uses the touch-tone dial pad to unlock the front entrance. You need to have a new telephone number with voice service programmed into the entry system so that people can still contact you to open the front entrance.
  • Any alarm system that does not use the internet probably uses the voice service. You need to contact the alarm company to find out what to do before you change to dry DSL.
  • In general, any service or device connected to the phone line but not using internet is likely to be disabled when voice service is cancelled.

See also

  • DSL changes - for information about changing your DSL service from normal to dry copper, or the reverse