Every once in a while, I come across a news item that makes me think that I need to get out of Silicon Valley more often.Today, that came in the form of a news release from Earthlink's PeoplePC, announcing a cost-savings promotion for the company's dial-up Internet service.
Every once in a while, I come across a news item that makes me think that I need to get out of Silicon Valley more often.
Today, that came in the form of a news release from Earthlink's PeoplePC, announcing a cost-savings promotion for the company's dial-up Internet service. Called Connect-For-Less, the promotion offers unlimited dial-up service for $7.95 a month. Every 795th customer gets one year of free service.
But, dial-up? In 2009? Will they even get 795 signups? I was so close to laughing the PR gal off the phone until she schooled me on the demand for dial-up that still exists.
Apparently, I'm the one out of the loop on this one. It seems there is still a market in this country for dial-up Internet connections. According to a study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 9 percent of adults are using a dial-up connection to get online and, of those, 35 percent said they will not switch to broadband until the prices come down. Of that same group of dial-up users, 19 percent said nothing would get them to switch to a faster connection. (See Pew data chart below)
Who knew so many people were happy with a dial-up connection? How do they watch YouTube videos? How do they listen to streaming music? How long does it take to download a picture in an email? Or a PDF file?
The Pew research, which was really meant to analyze President Obama's economic stimulus package and how it ties to the president's promised investment in broadband, concluded:
If more and faster broadband is provided, will people come? The analysis here suggests that the answer is “yes,” but that it may take longer than some advocates anticipate... one-in-five Americans currently don’t have broadband for reasons that won’t be addressed by price cuts or a fiber node in the neighborhood. It will take time to get them up and running on broadband -- probably longer than the impacts of the stimulus package are intended to last.