Dial-Up Alive and Kicking with 2 Percent of the U.S. Still on AOL

Dial-Up Alive and Kicking with 2 Percent of the U.S. Still on AOL

Consider yourself lucky if you were raised on broadband and nothing else. For us dinosaurs who were born before the Taylor Swift era, we had to suffer through dial-up service, enduring the barbaric screeches and noises of our modems as they literally dialed up a connection with the Internet. Through a mass marketing campaign in which free trial disks and CDs were handed out everywhere like Halloween candy, America On-Line would emerge as one of the most popular dial-up services of the 1990s, giving us reason to run and buy a swank 56.6K modem, which felt fast at the time. Ah, but with the advent of broadband those days are but a distant memory, at least for most of us.

For one reason or another, dial-up service still exists, and over 2.5 million people in the U.S. are still subscribing to AOL, the company revealed in its financial report for its second quarter of fiscal 2013. According to the United States Census Bureau, there are around 115 million households in the U.S. Using a bit of grade school math, we can then figure out that 2.1 percent of homes in the U.S. are still using AOL's dial-up service.


That's a pretty fascinating statistic, though AOL's numbers are dwindling. It's 2.5 million dial-up subscribers represents a 3 percent sequential decline from 2.66 million, and a 15 percent year-on-year drop from 3.03 million.

AOL CD

As surprising as all that may sound, the reality remains that broadband service simply isn't available to everyone, whether it's for economic reasons or, in many cases, due to living in a rural area where DSL and/or cable aren't offered.
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Over 90% of that 2% thought they cancelled back in 2002.

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HAHA! You're probably right.

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Best part is, those AOL discs are free in stores, which means, endless fun with microwaves and what not. Also make fun targets for shooting at the range.

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You have MAIL! :)

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remember when 56k was blazing fast?

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I don't think 56K was ever considered to be "blazing-fast". It was never fun waiting a couple of hours to download a 50MB demo ;-)

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At 56KB a second, it would take 914 seconds / 15 minutes. At 56Kb, it would take 7314 seconds / 121 minutes / 2 hours.

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Sadly, some of those AOL paid-subscribers don't realize that they only have to pay if they use the dial-up service! If you use broadband exclusively you can stop paying AOL and keep the same features, including the Instant Messenger, screen names and e-mail address'. 

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I was stuck on 2,600 BAUD dial-up for years and years. It was terrible too.

I love my cable modem.

All of those AOL Disks were good glued together with the shiny sides out and hung on a string in my fruit trees. The birds freak out at their own reflections and veer away.

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I have always been proud not to have ever had AOL. The bloated software was definitely annoying and not usefull at all unless you weren't "tech savvy" at all... My first ISP was the MSN Network and back the. It was great compared to the alternatives. The slowest modem I've had was a 56k v92. Nowadays I am shocked when I service anyone computer and it still has a dialup modem in it and just throw them away.

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