Cast your mind back to the Internet of the mid to late '90s and I betting this will be familiar.
The sound of dial-up and the little yellow running man were a staple of up to 50% of American households with Internet. Of course, that was well before the broadband boom of the 2000s when DSL and eventually cable Internet killed dial-up and AOL.
Except, dial-up and AOL still aren't gone. It turns out that they're both alive and well. How alive and well?
According to recent statistics from AOL, it still has 2.1 million dial-up subscribers. Even crazier, a large number of those customers are paying a whopping $20 a month, and that's actually a price increase from last year.
Yes, in 2015 the cost of dial-up is still going up. In some places, you can get DSL, which can be more than 20 times faster, for the same price or less. So, what's the deal?
Back in 2009, Pew Research found that 32% of dial-up users didn't think they could afford the upgrade to broadband. With Internet prices dropping, I'm not sure this reason holds true anymore.
As for the rest of the dial-up users, they either lived in areas without broadband, which is still a real concern, or just don't want to upgrade, which is fine as long as it's an informed decision. Still, $20 a month for a mind-numbing slow connection just boggles my mind.
Some AOL users are paying reduced fees because they threatened to jump over to broadband. If you're still using AOL, you might call up customer service and give that a try. Also, AOL does say it loses about 500,000 users a year, which means in a few more years only a very few users should still be using dial-up.
Do you use dial-up or know someone who does? Let me know in the comments, and why you, or they, don't upgrade.