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Dial-Up Users "Don't Want Broadband" 593

Barence writes "The majority of dial-up Internet users say they don't want to upgrade their connection to broadband, according to a new study in the US. The Pew Internet & American Life research found that 62% of dial-up users had no interest in upgrading to a high-speed connection." (CNN is carrying the AP's story on the study, too.)
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Dial-Up Users "Don't Want Broadband"

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  • Nooo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:01PM (#24047773) Homepage Journal

    We must convert the dial-up heathens!

    Send more broadband missionaries!

    • Re:Nooo! (Score:5, Funny)

      by pitchpipe ( 708843 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:02PM (#24047809)
      I thought that this was the reason that most slashdotters don't RTFA. At least that's my reasoning :P
    • Re:Nooo! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gangien ( 151940 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:17PM (#24048095) Homepage

      i really do not get this whole idea that the US sucks because of lack of broad band adaptation. I mean, I have broadband, and it's nice for what i do. But do my parents need it? no dialup would be fine for them. Do my sisters need it? no. You can certainly browse the web and send/recieve email on dialup, so I really don't get this obsession over it. (by obsession i mean I see these articles frequently on /. for some reason.)

      • Re:Nooo! (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:19PM (#24048135)
        DO I need it? Not really. Do I want it? Hell, yes. Can I get it? Hell, no.
        • Re:Nooo! (Score:4, Funny)

          by Jezza ( 39441 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:08PM (#24049089)

          How do you keep Windows patched? Oh sorry forgot this was /. how do you download Linux?

          Ah, not doing either of those? For God sake, stick with dial-up I can't take the extra spam!!!

      • Re:Nooo! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:25PM (#24048247)

        have them visit, or any other automotive retailer's website.

        the flash alone will suck down megs of data on something that is barely viewable with broad band is becoming the normal.

        a lot of car sites have so much flash you would think the police would catch on and arrest the serial flashers.

        • Re:Nooo! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:42PM (#24048599)

          But why does that bother you? Who cares if someone has a slow connection, or even no connection? The world got along just fine (actually, from evidence, a lot better) without everyone having an instant connection to everyone else.

              And get off my lawn!


        • Re:Nooo! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gunnk ( 463227 ) <gunnk AT mail DOT fpg DOT unc DOT edu> on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:51PM (#24048773) Homepage
          Not to mention software patches! How many dial-up users are going to install XP SP3?

          Fortunately for the spammers, those unpatched systems don't need much bandwidth to send lots of two line text-only spam.
          • "Are we there yet?" (Score:3, Informative)

            by westlake ( 615356 )
            Not to mention software patches! How many dial-up users are going to install XP SP3?
            those unpatched systems don't need much bandwidth to send lots of two line text-only spam.

            Automatic Updates downloads patches in the background.

            Automatic Updates downloads service packs in the background

            "We'll get there when we get there." The service works just fine whether you have dial-up or broadband.

            This is not headline news.

            If you have the patience of a ten year old, you can order Windows XP Service Pack 3 [] on C

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Have Blue ( 616 )
              Background downloading on a modem will make it practically unusable, with multi-second latency. And it'll still take days or weeks to finish.
              • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @11:27PM (#24054681)
                Background downloading on a modem will make it practically unusable, with multi-second latency.

                From 2005, "The Reader's Digest" version of how it works:

                BITS is a cool new file transfer feature of Windows that asynchronously downloads files from a remote server over HTTP. BITS can manage multiple downloads from multiple users while making use of idle bandwidth exclusively. Although the use of BITS is not limited to auto-updating applications, it is the underlying API used by Windows Update. And since it is available to any application, it can be used to do much of the really tough work involved in creating an auto-updating application.

                Here is the basic idea. An application asks BITS to manage the download of a file or set of files. BITS adds the job to its queue and associates the job with the user context under which the application is running. As long as the user is logged on, BITS will drizzle the files across the network using idle bandwidth. In fact, the code-name for the BITS technology is Drizzle, which, it turns out, is quite descriptive of what BITS does.

                How does all of this work? The technology is actually fairly sophisticated. First, BITS is implemented as a Windows service that maintains a collection of jobs organized into a set of priority queues: foreground, high, normal, and low. Each job in the same priority level is given bandwidth via time slices of about five minutes, in a round-robin fashion. Once there are no jobs remaining in a queue, the next priority queue is inspected for jobs.

                Jobs in the foreground queue use as much network bandwidth as they can, and for this reason the foreground priority should only be used by code that is responding to a user request. The remaining priorities, high, normal, and low, are much more interesting because they are all background priorities, which is to say that they only make use of network bandwidth that's not in use.

                To achieve this background feature, BITS monitors network packets and disregards packets that it recognizes as its own. The remaining packets are considered the active load on the machine's bandwidth. BITS uses the active load information along with the connection speed and some other statistics to decide whether it should continue downloading files or back off in order to increase throughput for the active user. Because of this, the user doesn't experience bandwidth problems.

                The ability to drop what it is doing at a moment's notice is very important for BITS. In many cases, only part of a file is downloaded before BITS must give up the network or even lose connection altogether. The partially downloaded file is saved, however, and when BITS gets another crack at the network, it picks up where it left off. This ability to recover does have some side effects.

                Remember that BITS is used to transfer files from HTTP servers. A server should be HTTP 1.1-compliant or at least support the Range header in the GET method for BITS to work. This is because BITS needs to be able to request a portion of a file. In addition, the content being downloaded must be static content such as a markup file, code file, bitmap, or sound. A GET request including a Range header makes no sense when requesting dynamic content such as that produced by CGI, ISAPI, or ASP.NET.

                Currently, there are two versions of BITS: 1.0 and 1.5. BITS 1.0 ships with Windows XP and has the following features: interruptible background downloading of files, download prioritization, optional notification of completed jobs and error situations, and optional progress notifications for use with dialog boxes and other UI elements. BITS 1.5 ships with Windows .NET Server. In addition to the features contained in BITS 1.0, version 1.5 has interruptible background uploading of files and authenticated connections using Basic, Digest, NTLM, Negotiate (Kerberos) or Passport. BITS 1.5 is available as a redistributable that is compatible with Windows 2000 and greater (see Background Intelligent Transfer Ser

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by v1 ( 525388 )

            what makes you think people still stuck in the dialup days run software updates? Most of them probably don't know their computer account's password.

            I ran into one of those just yesterday. Has a five year old computer and has never ran updates. Went to do so and he had no idea his account had a password on it. So now we get to fight that later.

      • Re:Nooo! (Score:5, Funny)

        by sm62704 ( 957197 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:37PM (#24048513) Journal

        I mean, I have broadband, and it's nice for what i do. But do my parents need it?

        My mom's on dialup (80 yrs old), my dad (77 yrs ols) doesn't even have a computer in his house (they got divorced the year I was married).

        My friend Ralph (86 yrs old) doesn't have a computer, but he doesn't need one; he has hookers. And blackjack.

        But he forgets the blackjack.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by S.O.B. ( 136083 )

          My friend Ralph (86 yrs old) doesn't have a computer, but he doesn't need one; he has hookers. And blackjack.

          So I guess the only web he's concerned with is fishnet stockings and in that case "high speed" is not a desirable quality. :D

      • Re:Nooo! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dubiousmike ( 558126 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:04PM (#24049023) Homepage Journal

        Plus they think they will lose their AOL homepage and email...

        • Re:Nooo! (Score:5, Funny)

          by Joe Snipe ( 224958 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @04:31PM (#24050323) Homepage Journal

          Those poor fools... luckily I printed a copy of the AOL homepage, so I don't worry about such things.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by v1 ( 525388 )

          Actually, loss of their email address IS a big factor for people upgrading from dialup. They don't realize what the benefits are, but can very easily recognize the chaos that's going to cause.

          What we need is a "universal portability" thing for email like we have for telephone numbers. (but I call it GMail)

      • Re:Nooo! (Score:5, Informative)

        by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:14PM (#24049183)

        i really do not get this whole idea that the US sucks because of lack of broad band adaptation.

        The US doesn't suck because people choose not to get broadband, it sucks because they can't get it even if they want it.

        I mean, I have broadband, and it's nice for what i do.

        No, you almost certainly don't. Maybe you think you do, because you have cable or DSL, but those are too slow to count as broadband. The only real broadband in the US (not including business leased lines, of course) is Verizon's FIOS, and that's available in so few areas it might as well be mythical.

    • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

      by dfm3 ( 830843 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:34PM (#24048463) Journal

      We must convert the dial-up heathens

      Why should I change? My dialup connection works fine so long as noone picks up th# $% @#$#%)G$%$#^NO CARRIER

    • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:37PM (#24048523)
      For many, dialup does what they want. email, low bandwidth browsing etc. Low-tech folk. These are the people that would be most prone to getting botted if they had broadband.

      Dialup just does not support botting, so it is better to leave them on dialup.

      • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:06PM (#24049053)

        They don't make very effective bots, but they still get botted.

        I was checking my mother-in-law's computer because she said the internet wasn't working. I connected and twiddled around with settings a bit. At some point I opened up the connections status and I had to smile a bit as her uploads were something like 5MB and downloads were a few thousand k.

        She never patched her system because it takes to long over dialup :) Even antivirus updates are painful.

        The other cool thing is that she kept having to unplug the phone line because the computer would dial in whenever it needed a connection, and the bot apparently always needed a connection.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          "unplug the phone line"

          This is why it works so well. This is a security model that anyone can understand and implement. Firewalls, NAT and other alphabet soup is just too much for many/most people to handle. And if they do get botted they get annoyed by the thing interfering with the phone so they have to do something about it.... like fix the problem or unplug.

  • Odin84gk (Score:5, Insightful)

    by odin84gk ( 1162545 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:01PM (#24047787)
    Summary: "19 percent say nothing would persuade them to upgrade"

    In other news, 81% of Americans on Dial-up would like to switch to high speed internet if the price was right...

    Nothing to see here... Move along...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by langelgjm ( 860756 )

      In other news, 81% of Americans on Dial-up would like to switch to high speed internet if the price was right...

      Or, you know, if there were actually any high-speed internet services available in the area.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by legirons ( 809082 )

      Makes this [] article all the more interesting...

      "according to Ofcom, they [anyone who doesn't want to pay for broadband] are excluded from broadband ... we all know the next step: the rest of us will be forced to finance broadband for the digitally excluded."

    • Re:Odin84gk (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred AT fredshome DOT org> on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:35PM (#24048481) Homepage

      Summary: "19 percent say nothing would persuade them to upgrade"

      In other news, 81% of Americans on Dial-up would like to switch to high speed internet if the price was right...

      Nothing to see here... Move along...

      Except the US doesn't get "right" prices since the (wide) territory has been split between the providers which have a de facto local monopoly and can set the prices as they see fit.

      Broadband provider is X for $Z. If you aren't happy with that, unless you're in a metropolitan area, the alternative is a POTS modem. In Europe/Asia, in most locations you actually have a choice for at least ADSL2+ providers (up to roughly 22Mbps depending on how far you are from the local hub), and nowadays fibre with typically 50Mbps+ *for the same price* (in France you get *at least* 50Mbps with fibre for about 30 € per month, whis is about, what, $50, $55 ?).

      There is a category of users that only use the network to send email. You can do that over a 2.4K modem. I've run a 5 person network over a 9.6K modem with a Linux dial on demand box back when...

      Actually, I was part of the tech people building one of the first public ISP in Europe over a *64K* line. For about 9000 subscribers who opted to use the Internet facility (we already had Internet -- among others -- mail gateways for ages). And at the time it was plenty. In the early 90s I downloaded my Linux floppy images on that link (several times even, when you wrote 30 floppies, some were bound to be bad).

      Anyway, You and I would have trouble with a modem link (my offsite backups would become very complicated for example), but if all you use is email and a few web pages ? Should work like a charm (maybe adblock would be handy nowadays though).

      Oh and I used to check my mail with nothing but a VT100 and a modem. Get off my lawn (waves walker and falls over).

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Offer someone a connection that doesn't tie up their phone line, is always on and is the same speed or faster than their current connection FOR THE SAME PRICE and of course they'll take it. Even those 19%, who probably misunderstood the question.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by misterhypno ( 978442 )

      19% can't get broadband.

      35% say the price is too high.

      14% say they would not switch, regardless.

      If the prices adjusted downwards, that 35% group of price-objectors would vanish, leaving only 33% of the total who still have dial-up only either being stuck with it or being Luddites who refuse to switch over.

      Once the 19% of those who can't get broadband CAN get it, how many of them would switch? The assumption is all of them would, because otherwise, they would be in the "would not switch" category.

      That leave

  • by Control-Z ( 321144 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:02PM (#24047807)

    These people are probably your mothers and fathers who aren't particularly into computers. If they're just checking e-mail and maybe a little web surfing on a Pentium II with 128MB of memory, it's hard to argue that they should pay $50 a month for broadband.

    I hated paying $50 a month for cable internet even though I used the hell out of it. It just doesn't seem like a reasonable price.

    • by Troy ( 3118 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:08PM (#24047937)


      Sucker! I only pay $49.95.

    • by Nightspirit ( 846159 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:10PM (#24047973)

      Yah but if they're like my parents they paid $20 a month for dialup and $20 a month for a second landline. Cellphones have pretty much negated the need for this, but some families may want to keep their landline unlocked, and in that case broadband isn't that much more expensive.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And it wasn't that long ago that we did everything over dialup. Even expensive things like ISDN were just 2 64k channels. Barely better than dial-up.

      And we managed to communicate, download binaries, mp3s, game, pass through uucp and email on uunet and such on pep modems, ISDN, and slower links.

      To this day, about the only thing that crushes dialup are DVD downloads, and some dev apps and games that have become as big as DVDs.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      over here in Southern Idaho, We have a wireless broadband provider that will at least give you 256k for $20 a month. (for those that require cites. ) Heck of an improvement over dialup, and the same price. Also, if you're in a low population area, the install and all equipment minus the router is free.
    • it's hard to argue that they should pay $50 a month for broadband.

      Where do you live? Here in Illinois, these users qualify for AT&T's $10 program. [] I only pay $20 a month for cable internet (bundled with $40 basic cable). Those options are cheaper than some dial-ups.

    • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:32PM (#24048405) Homepage Journal

      because the high speed net isn't really doing anything for the majority of people except separating them from their money.

      Look, my grand parents and my parents to a similar degree are from a more responsible generation. They didn't burden themselves down with so many monthlies that marketing gurus have dreamed up to separate us from our money. I can't count the number of people I know who scrape by but refuse to acknowledge how they drain their income relentlessly through monthlies. Its only $1 dollar a day! Its only 1.49 a day! Its just $100 a month.

      Sheesh. These same people wonder why I can drive and own a new car when I want it. They don't understand the magic of being able to buy something I want when I want it for CASH. I don't look at each month as a routine of $30 here, $50 there, and $100 there, and having to do with X minus a whole lot of Ys.

      For the most part with current offerings all high speed internet does is satisfy our impatience. There really isn't that much different to the net for many of us that wasn't there a few years ago. A lot people justify it by "well I might want to do X" and such. Words to make a marketer's ears perk and for them salivate over.

      Hell if anything this survey tells me there are many Americans with a real life. Call them hicks, backwards trolls, whatever, I know many do just so they can justify their spending money like it comes from trees. It certainly makes it easier to pass these people off as ignorant but at the end of day who is happier?

  • by andrewd18 ( 989408 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:03PM (#24047815)
    My grandmother refuses to upgrade to broadband even though it's an extra $5/mo because she's used it at my house and it loads too fast. She says that her internet at home is "perfect Grandma speed", and us "young-uns with fresh brains can handle the zip of that fast stuff."
    • Re:Grandma Speed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:06PM (#24047883) Homepage

      She says that her internet at home is "perfect Grandma speed", and us "young-uns with fresh brains can handle the zip of that fast stuff."

      Your grandmother is a wise woman who has better things to worry about.


    • by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:20PM (#24048145)
      Exactly, remember the days when you could start your complie, go get a cup of coffee and then get back just as the error report finished printing. It was a slower gentler time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Fred_A ( 10934 )

      She says that her internet at home is "perfect Grandma speed", and us "young-uns with fresh brains can handle the zip of that fast stuff."

      I'll just go and make some preserves and I'll read that Internet thngammajy whan it's done a'loadin.

  • Pew Internet & American Life sounds like a fake business. You should only listen to results from the firm of OMGPEWPEWPEW.

  • Majority (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Holi ( 250190 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:04PM (#24047865)

    Majority my ass, when did 1/5th become a majority.

    Quite the misleading headline.

    • Where do you get 1/5? It clearly says 62% both in TFS and TFA.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Holi ( 250190 )

        When asked what it would take to tempt them to switch, 35% said the price of broadband would have to fall, while almost a fifth said that nothing would tempt them to upgrade, suggesting many die-hard dial-up users simply don't see the need for the higher speeds that are available.

        So most want faster internet but cannot afford it, while approximately 1/5th do not want faster internet.

    • You didn't comprehend properly. :)

      Of the people on dialup, the majority of *those* people (62%) don't have any interest. :)

      Majority my ass, when did 1/5th become a majority.

      Quite the misleading headline.

  • by pomegranatesix ( 809489 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:05PM (#24047873)
    I don't know if it'll still connect (though I suspect it would...), but by the time I was in high school, broadband had so permeated my neighborhood that my dialup provider didn't even bother deactivating inactive accounts. Three years after we switched to broadband, we could still use our dialup service when the cable was down.

    Dialup was good enough back in the day. Couldn't -- and still can't -- beat $4.95/mo when 90% of all you needed to do is check your email once a day, which pretty much describes the internet habits of my parents. If they needed anything bandwidth intensive, they'd usually just take care of it at work.

    I think the only reason my parents switched to broadband was because I would spend hours tying up the phoneline when I was IMing my friends.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
      Depends on the variety of dial-up. When I go visit my mother in law out in the country, the only thing available is dial-up. Not just regular dial-up, but real country dial-up. It connects at around 26 kbps, when you're lucky. And then there's dropped packets, latency, disconnections. Not a usuable experience at all. I find it painful to check my web-email via squirrel-mail. Browsing the actual internet, on sites like slashdot, is a complete no-go. Even with images turned off. If you're talking ful
  • by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:06PM (#24047875)
    I can see where people look at the $10/month they pay for dialup ($120 a year) and compare it to the cost of broadband; cable internet in my area is at least $45/month ($540 a year, or add $10/month on top if you don't have cable TV service!) so they would pay an extra $420 a year to have the same access, but faster.. Come to think of it, thats kind of depressing that I pay that much a year for internet! If I was living on a low fixed income, cable and internet would be among the lowest priorities. Some of you will laugh at me, and call me a phony geek, but have you ever gone a week eating only 1 cup of nooldes a day because you couldn't afford to eat? I have, it changes your priorities pretty quickly!
  • by michrech ( 468134 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:06PM (#24047877)

    ...until one of his kids started sending videos of his grandchildren to him, along with the high MP pictures. Add in the gallery (Menalto's Gallery) that I run that hosts lots of family pictures. He also likes to view videos from humoron and other sites of that nature, and dialup just wasn't working for him.

    I tried to convince him for at least a couple years that he should get cable or DSL, but he refused to because he either didn't want to pay the up-front costs, or he hated the company (or a combination). He finally got a taste of higher-than-dialup speed at a friends house, bit the bullet, and finally signed up for himself.

    Many of these people are probably in the same boat. They just simply don't know what they are missing out on, and that's fine. That means they're either out in their community, or watching TV, etc. I just have a feeling that many of these folks would actually put a higher speed connection to use if they were introduced to all the stuff they could be using it for.

    I know for a fact that one of the driving features for my father getting his DSL was that he was able to talk to my deployed brother via the internet far more cheaply than phone calls were. I wonder how many of that 62% have deployed children/family members that they'd like to be able to talk to more often?

  • by Angostura ( 703910 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:07PM (#24047903)

    ... I'm not too surprised.

    The most important difference, as far as I'm concerned is not in speed, but in the always-on nature of the connection.

    For a long time my (80-something) parents were quite happy with dial-up. And they basically didn't use the Net. To access the Internet they had to run a phone extension lead across the room. They explained they didn't use the Internet much, and I simply said, "and you wouldn't use electricity much if every time you needed to turn on a light you had to go out to the garage, start up a generator and then run a cable in through the window".

    In the end they simply decided that they didn't want to be left behind by the times. They got wireless, I set them up with a Mac (yes, I know but the Dock is a great thing it you only ever need 4 applications) and they never looked back. They're Skyping, Googling, the works.

    Exactly how you sell the way that the online experience changes when you are always on is slightly problematic, but it's key. People liek my parents really didn't care if the Web page opened twice as fast.

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:07PM (#24047909) Homepage

    The few dial-up users I knew a few years ago didn't realize how big the difference was. They assumed that if it took 2 minutes to get a page on dial-up, it would be one minute or 30 seconds on high-speed internet. They equated high-speed internet to upgrading a computer. It's prettier and faster, but it is really the same thing. And they were patient.

    That changed when they saw my laptop. Sometimes I would click a link and the page would load and they didn't even register that it happened. dial-up -vs- high-speed is like reading a book through a telescope a mile away -vs- reading it up close. And once you go there you can never go back. So I suspect most of those dial-up users who are left just have never seen the alternative.

    • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:14PM (#24048055) Journal

      dial-up -vs- high-speed is like reading a book through a telescope a mile away -vs- reading it up close.

      That's silly. Sure, you need to walk a mile to turn the page, but then you're already there and the rest of the experience is the same.

      Dial-up -vs- high-speed is like reading a book with only one word printed on each page -vs- reading a porno mag with embedded videos on each page.

  • I have never met someone who said I don't want more goodness for the same price. If your local dial-up provider said, hey we will give you broadband speeds for no extra cost tomorrow... I would be willing to bet that most would jump on it!

    The only "advantage" that dial-up offers over broadband is the flexability of providers.

  • If the ISPs in the UK had sold broadband as a speed upgrade I'd still be on dial-up too. The fact is lots of internet users don't need to download things quickly. 56k is more than adequate for email, it's practically overkill for SSH and it's bearable for light web surfing. There really isn't any reason to upgrade if that's all you do. Even the "always on" factor is really just a speed advantage.

    The reason I bought into broadband was primarily reliability and the fact that it doesn't tie up your phone line

  • Most people don't need it anyway. And 1/2 that think they do really don't.

    If we could dump all the extra garbage on most webpages, we could conserve a lot of bandwidth as it is.

    • Re:Need (Score:5, Informative)

      by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:32PM (#24048399)

      If we could dump all the extra garbage on most webpages, we could conserve a lot of bandwidth as it is.

      Edit -> Preferences -> Content

      Untick load images automatically.
      Untick enable Javascript.
      Untick enable Java.

      Edit -> Preferences -> Applications

      Remove any you don't like.


  • I'm one of those (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Night Goat ( 18437 ) * on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:09PM (#24047947) Homepage Journal

    I've been sticking with dial-up service because high speed Internet's too much money for me. It's an added monthly fee that I just don't need. I can make do with dial-up. Turn off graphics and Flash and most web pages load just fine on a 56K dial-up connection. I just download patches for my Mac while I'm at work. I don't have a cell phone or cable TV either. I think I was just raised frugally.

  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:11PM (#24048009) Homepage

    Frankly, I'd be OK with a lower speed connection, for a lower price, too. Say, 768kbps down for $15 a month would work just fine for me at home. Instead I pay $45 a month for 6mbps that I don't really need.

  • And I don't want to drive a porsche.
  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:22PM (#24048199)
    I've have a grandmother who would still be using her 1969 Philco black and white TV if it hadn't broken at some point. Some people just get to a point in their life where they get used to doing things the way they've been used to doing them for a long time. And those people resist change with a surprising tenacity.

    It's the same phenomenon that leaves me shaking my head every time they interview some laid-off Detroit autoworker who says something like "This is what I've done my whole life. What am I going to do now?" The obvious questions would be "Good Lord man, you didn't see this coming?" and "Why didn't you get some training or find a field with a brighter future in the last few decades?" Sometimes you just get used to doing something one way, and are lethargic about changing.

    You CAN teach an old dog new tricks, you just have to kick him in the ass sometimes to get him out of his rut.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Arccot ( 1115809 )

      I've have a grandmother who would still be using her 1969 Philco black and white TV if it hadn't broken at some point. Some people just get to a point in their life where they get used to doing things the way they've been used to doing them for a long time. And those people resist change with a surprising tenacity.

      I think for many people, the benefits simply aren't worth the cost. And that applies both to high speed Internet and people used to things a certain way. Your grandma probably had no problem changing the channels on the B&W, but has some trouble with all the small buttons on the remote or tv control panel of the color tv. It is more difficult to learn new things as you get older. The hassle of learning how to use a new product, and pay for it, isn't worth the upgraded features for everyone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:24PM (#24048237)

    BTW, first post!

  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:27PM (#24048293)
    More than even the speed most of the time what I most appreciate about broadband is its always on nature. For a long time with dial-up I actually had 2 phone lines, one for voice and one for data. Even so, connecting the modem took time of not already on-line for an impulse checking out of a web-page. Now I just open my browser whenever.
  • by electricbern ( 1222632 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:27PM (#24048299)
    No one needs broadband, just like 640k ought to be enough for everyone.
  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:28PM (#24048319)
    being made a member of a botnet (sslr).

    Most of my (non tech-savvy) friends don't care if their machine is botted, so long as it plays GTA x okay. I have to explain (usually one-on-one) why they're being harmed, even if they never see a slowdown on their desktop or have to deal with law enforcement. I have to explain why letting spambots run on their boxes is bad, even if they never check their own e-mail (and thus never see spam).

    Good luck explaining to Grandma and Grandpa why they should pony up an extra thirty-odd dollars per month or more just to get their e-mail a little faster and with one or two less mouse clicks. Incidentally, has anybody here considered that people who are satisfied with dialup are doing the rest of us a favor? Likely as not, they're not sophisticated users and are the ones most likely to be running infected systems - best to relegate them to the list of "connects occasionally for limited uses". My greatest nightmare is already coming true - millions of desktops running Windows with inadequate protection persistently connected to the internet via a high-speed connection.

  • Duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ksd1337 ( 1029386 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @02:40PM (#24048591)
    It's because they don't watch porn. If they watched porn, they'd switch to broadband in an instant.
  • by Sark666 ( 756464 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:18PM (#24049255)

    Linux suppot for dialup is next to nil. Yes it's because of those winmodems, but you'd think a couple of the common chipsets would be reverse engineered or something could be done like ndiswrapper.

    I mention this cause I have a friend who got a machine with vista and it runs fairly slow, I was going to set him up with linux, but realized he uses a winmodem for dialup. So that blew that idea.

  • by Wordplay ( 54438 ) <> on Thursday July 03, 2008 @03:36PM (#24049555)

    There are certain technologies that just aren't compelling until you've actually experienced them, and had a chance to explore the possibilities they give you.

    DVRs would be a prime example. Nobody realizes what a difference timeshifting with a season pass makes, until they use one. It converted me from a non-watcher to a fairly avid TV fan, since my primary block was scheduling.

    Broadband is another. My parents didn't understand why it was compelling either, until I finally more or less browbeat them into getting a connection. -Now- they get it, and wouldn't go back to dialup for the world.

    Once you have it, the value proposition becomes pretty obvious: always on, internet being easily available to all computers in the house, a -lot- faster, more types of websites available, being able to effectively use web-apps, not having to worry about missing emergency calls from relatives (no matter how you configure the modem, sometimes the call-waiting beep doesn't disconnect it) and so on.

    I'm not saying these techs are right for everyone. I am saying that in many ways, they're transcendent, and you can't make a good judgment about them until you've actually experienced them.

  • by Pr0xY ( 526811 ) on Thursday July 03, 2008 @04:48PM (#24050563)

    My uncle fell into this category. For years he would happily log into his ISP, check his stocks, read emails, the usual operations. Time after time, I explained that for just about the same price he could have a MUCH faster Internet. He would constantly reply with "it's ok, I'm patient and this works." Usually, I would retort this by saying that his patients was admirable and a good thing, but simply not necessary.

    Until one day he moved to a new community which had all the houses pre-setup with cable modems.
    In fact, at the new community, broadband was cheaper since it was just "part of the deal."

    Since then, I haven't heard the end of "how much faster his computer is now." He absolutely loves it and says he will never go back to dial-up.

    Realistically, I think most broadband holdouts fit into this description. Hesitant to change, content and generally patient with the shortcoming they have. But if they had the opportunity to try broadband for an extended period of time, I think most reasonable people would agree it's just better.

  • Basic AT&T DSL is $19.99/month not that much more that dial-up. Other DSL providers have a basic DSL setup that is 384KBPS or 512KBPS which is way more than the old dial-up users need but cost less than that $22 AOL dial-up account that most of them have. In fact AOL will work with the DSL company to offer AOL access and software through the DSL and keep their email and web sites.

    It is when you need the 1.5MBPS or higher speeds that you pay a higher price for.

    I should note that a lot of dial-up customers still use Windows 95/98/ME systems and some form of WINMODEM and lack the basic Ethernet card needed for most broadband connections. A lot of broadband services no longer give that free Ethernet NIC, but people can buy them for $35 or under and install them themselves if they knew how. Just that the average person doesn't know how to open up their computer and stick in a card to upgrade it even if their lives depended on it.

    Also Cable and Satellite companies offer broadband as part of a package deal to make things more affordable and so do local phone companies as well. So we can rule out that it isn't affordable, because it is affordable.

    Most POTS systems only get like 33KBPS even if they support 56KBPS protocols due to line noise, as they are forced to connect at lower speeds.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10