Rumor has it that Verizon (NYSE:VZ) will offer its high-speed DSL service naked -- yes, in the buff. (The temptation to offer up every euphemism for "naked" is astounding, but I'll try to hold back.) While you can argue that this move certainly does show a certain degree of free-spiritedness, there's also the fact that it reflects a changing landscape for Internet and voice services.

CBS MarketWatch reported that Verizon will offer its DSL service in the Northeast without any requirements for customers to add telephone to the list of services they receive from the giant (thus the term "naked"). Given what has always been seen as a pretty intense advantage for companies like Verizon -- bundling of complementary services such as telephone and broadband connectivity -- it's an interesting move in this increasingly dog-eat-dog world.

The article pointed out several aspects of this: its appeal to people who have ditched landline telephone service in favor of wireless phones, as well as to people who might want to try voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP.

It would be difficult to argue that these aren't tough times for telecoms like Verizon. Even going beyond the competition to put broadband connectivity into homes and businesses, there's also the fact that its core telephone service is being encroached on as well.

For example, speaking of bundling, cable provider Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has been aggressively offering digital telephone service (I was recently a bit surprised to note that Comcast already has 1.2 million customers who use its phone service, according to a recent regulatory filing). Meanwhile, various and sundry providers such as Vonage and even Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) America Online are offering VoIP.

Indeed, the move shows that Verizon is able to change with the times. However, there's always an extreme vulnerability associated with the word "naked" to begin with, like that common anxiety dream that folks often have about showing up to work, school, or a podium for public speaking sans apparel and feeling awfully stupid. All joking aside, the de-emphasis on essential pieces of an ensemble such as traditional phone service probably underscores just how well the competition is accessorizing.

What else is going on in the world of Verizon? Read more here:

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.