Dial-up Internet access was expected to be dead by now, but the struggling global economy has lengthened the life of the archaic Internet technology, with some consumers even switching from broadband to dial-up.
"Dial-up is declining overall, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a viable business," EarthLink senior vice president of product management recently said to reporters. ""There’s still a big market out there and during these tough times, even customers who have bundles including broadband may be looking at their bill and thinking, ‘Do I really need all this?’"
To prove its efforts in this market, EarthLink has its "Connect for Less" deal that offers dial-up Internet access for just $7.95 per month, or 25 cents per day. Let’s get something clear: 56 percent of EarthLink’s revenue is generated from its broadband business, but still has almost twice as many dial-up users.
Virtually all dial-up Internet services offer connections for less than $10 per month, while most broadband connections in the United States cost more than $34.50 per month, according to analysts. A NetZero subscriber would save around $300 per year if they switched from broadband to dial-up.
Americans who look to the Internet just to check e-mail and browse the Internet are still able to do so, though watching content on YouTube, Hulu and other sites — along with downloading content or playing video games online — is difficult. Analysts are curious to see if consumers are more willing to switch to dial-up to save money, or if the need for speed is just too much for them.
Despite some users switching, it seems dial-up will eventually die off within the decade, as broadband prices drop even further.