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AOL still has 3.5 million dial-up subscribers

America Online's home page.
America Online's home page.

Not everyone in the U.S. has high-speed Internet via cable or DSL. America Online, the most venerable of dial-up Internet service providers, still has 3.5 million customers that use the company's dial-up service.

While high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi seem like they've always been the norm for most of us, they haven't. And for many Americans, they still aren't.

In a June 2009 study on home broadband adoption, Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project said that 63 percent of adult Americans had high-speed Internet connections at home, up from 55 percent in 2008.

At that time, Pew said 7 percent of Americans were dial-up Internet users, "a figure that is half the level it had been two years ago." More than half said they didn't see changing that in the future. When Pew asked "what it would take for them to switch to a broadband connection at home," these were the responses:

  • 32 percent said the price would have to fall.
  • 20 percent said nothing would get them to change.
  • 17 percent said it would have to become available where they live.
  • 16 percent said "don't know."
  • 13 percent gave "some other reason."

During its heyday nearly a decade ago in 2002, AOL had 26.7 million dial-up subscribers. In 2009, the year Pew did its study, AOL had 6.3 million dial-up subscribers.

The new subscriber figures were cited in America Online's third-quarter earnings release.

"For those who don’t have access to broadband, don’t want it, or don’t need it, AOL is still better than no Internet access," wrote Dan Frommer on SplatF. "Over the past decade, monthly AOL bills haven’t changed that much, on average: From about $18 in 2001 to $19.30 in 2006 to about $17.50 now."

It's good to know that kind of a constant, especially during tight budget times like these.

— Via SplatF

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