Verizon’s plan to purchase AOL, announced May 12, came as a surprise. But TechnoBuffalo reports something even more surprising about AOL: More than two million Americans still pay $20 a month to subscribe to AOL’s 56k dial-up Internet service.
That’s a lot less than the 4.6 million dial-up Internet subscribers the Virginia-based ISP counted in 2010, but still “astonishing,” given that U.S. broadband penetration now exceeds 70 percent at an average speed of 11.4 Mbps, writes TechnoBuffalo. By failing to upgrade to faster Internet service, dial-up subscribers are probably unable to view much of the information on websites and provided by Web services today.
Dial-up connections probably wouldn’t even be able to load a modern day website, much less stream a video on YouTube or Netflix, TechnoBuffalo notes. “[E]ither through ignorance, stubbornness, or sheer unavailability in certain areas, people are still clinging to the good old days of the early Internet,” the author comments.
Meanwhile, AOL rakes in big cash every year.
According to FCC data, several million U.S. homes have no landline broadband access. But most of those people at least have the option of satellite broadband service, which offers considerably faster speeds than dial-up.
“If you or someone you know is still using dial-up, it might be time for an intervention,” quips TechnoBuffalo.