Is Dial-up Internet Still Used In The USA?

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.

What is the situation in the US?

Last I checked, my parents still had dial-up. If they haven’t switched to something faster, I’m assuming it’s because they don’t feel the need to.

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.

lots of areas will never see high speed because of remote location. even satellite might be unavailable to many because of no view to the satellite.

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.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project measures this. The Census Bureau measures this as well (Table 1B - those numbers are from 2010, Pew’s are from 2011).

Yes, there are still dial-up users in the United States. There are also still people without internet access at home in the US - for various reasons, from price to availability.

The situation is similar here. We’ve been trying to invest in increased access to broadband. It was part of our stimulus plan.

There is a higher concentration of investment into 4G wireless technology over actual high speed lines. No one wants to pay for a fiber-optic lines to nowhere.

A thread from February on this subject.

Many years ago someone told me that the US had mandated there would be fiber to the door by 2010.

I repeated this to many people and even invested in companies who were investing in fiber (Corning for instance.)

Turns out, whoever told me that was having me on.

But the investment was still a good one.

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.

My brother has dial-up. His only option for broadband would be through the local cable company (which is pretty poor) and he has a satellite rather than cable for his TV.

The worst part is that most of the fiber backbone was in place by the Worldcom bankruptcy. It seems the problem is that last 150’ to get fiber to your door.

This past winter I stayed in a B&B near Mont Tremblant and they had no TVs and a single dial-up internet computer. It felt like I was living in the Stone Age, sort of.

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.

Yikes! Maybe Alzheimers is closer than I thought.

Heh, I hadn’t even noticed who the OP of the February thread was. I just remembered commenting in it.