AOL Customers With Dial-Up Still Aren't Up to Speed

aol dial up membersAs I was sitting in the airport working thanks to a wireless Internet connection, I could not believe the headline I was reading. Apparently there are 3.5 million people who are STILL using AOL dial-up to get their Internets. Not only that, 200K new users just signed up for the ol' buzzy method of going online. My first thought was that somebody is juking the system. In this day and age where you can basically do your entire job through your iPhone, there's no way people are still opting for the slowest method possible that also ties up your telephone line. And furthermore, who even has a land line anymore?

Then I remembered exactly who these people are. And I totally know them!


Approximately 60 million Americans reside in rural areas. While many of those rural areas aren't so rural that they don't at least have cable, some rely on telephone lines for everything. Including my own mother, who until recently lived on a farm in Oklahoma that never did get cable, and therefore relied on dial-up until the day she moved. I can't believe how quickly I forgot that constant busy signal I would get when I called her and just knew she was online. That same scenario would be true of her neighbors as well.

Some areas are so remote that a satellite dish is the only way you're going to get television reception. I grew up without cable TV, as did many of my neighbors for this exact reason. While these remote locations have small populations, they exist all over the country, so I can see how it would easily add up to 3 million users. Additionally, more and more people are going online just to read the newspaper, so it makes sense that the long-time hold-outs are finally giving in and signing up for their brand spanking new AOL dial-up account. This is something I didn't think of while using my in-flight wireless account yesterday.

Which is also crazy when you think about it. It's easier to get a wireless connection 35,000 feet above the ground than in the countryside you're flying over. I wonder how difficult it would be to steal those airline wireless connections? Hmmm, something I'm sure someone has thought about -- somewhere.

Are you using dial-up right now?


Image via Gilgongo/Flickr

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