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.

Image Source: Flickr via Gilgongo

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.