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Hello, 1995 is calling: AOL still has 2.1 million dial-up customers

By
Amy R. Connolly
America Online said it still has 2.1 million customers who pay up to $20 a month for dial-up Internet connections. Photo by HandmadePictures/Shutterstock
America Online said it still has 2.1 million customers who pay up to $20 a month for dial-up Internet connections. Photo by HandmadePictures/Shutterstock

NEW YORK, May 9 (UPI) -- Remember when connecting to the Internet started with a free AOL CD, those infernal beeping and squealing sounds and the arduously slow dial-up connection?

For some 2.1 million Americans 1995 is still a reality.

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AOL revealed in its quarterly earnings report Friday that dial-up is not dead, shocking news in the age of faster-is-better. At 56 kilobit per second download speeds, dial-up is 200 times slower than the average U.S. broadband speed. Even many smartphones are 100 times faster.

More interesting still, a large percentage of those 2.1 million pay up to $20 a month for the service. There are some who pay nothing because they threatened to leave or are in the free trial period.

In 2013, the Pew Internet Research project found 70 percent of Americans have broadband connections at home. So who are the dial-up devotees? They're likely senior citizens who are comfortable with the old standard, those who can't afford more than $20 a month and those who simply don't care enough to make the change.

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