Just curious. In NZ and Australia the governments are putting money into fibre-optic cables to connect most of the population to high-speed broadband. Nevertheless there are many people in remote areas who will never see a cable.
If the internet providers can’t come to you your options will pretty much be limited to either a dial-up connection or satellite internet. The latter option is faster, but you tend to be stuck with very limited download caps. I also still see lots of Netzero dial-up discs for sale in stores, so presumably somebody’s buying them.
I was just listening to an interview on NPR last Friday that talked bout how the USA has the 1) slowest and 2) most expensive internet service in the developed world - mainly because of deregulation of the cable and phone companies, according to the interviewee. There is no federal mandate to connect rural populations, and no profit, so it’s not done.
Compare that to electrification, which happened thoroughly and relatively quickly because the power companies weren’t given a choice.
Another aspect would be that dial-up is still useful as a backup for your regular broadband internet access. My DSL wasn’t available for almost an entire week recently. I wish I still had had a modem and the access data for an ISP that offers dial-up.
I have a friend who lives in central Mass. and he cannot get a high speed connection. Another who lives in the Laurentians in Quebec. Same story. Both use dialup. They are my collaborators and it is awkward to send them pdf files of our latest draft. In both cases even a dialup call is long distance.
Quebec I could understand, but central Massachusetts? Is that really a remote area? I’ve never been to that part of the US, but looking on a map nowhere looks that far from civilisation. I suppose my mental picture of the east coast of America is that it’s all pretty well developed…
Having said that, a friend of mine here in the UK lives less than two miles from the cable company’s HQ and still can’t get cable down his street…
Central Massachusetts isn’t that far from civilization but there are some very rural parts and it gets more remote as you get into Western Massachusetts. Most of the population of Massachusetts in concentrated in the East in and around Boston. Maine and New Hampshire have some truly rural areas. There are some pretty remote parts of most states. We have a whole lot of land in the U.S. and it isn’t evenly settled so the profit simply isn’t there for internet companies to run high-speed lines where population density is very low.