The dial-up market declines as the broadband Internet services becomes more widely available at lower rates. Broadband offers faster downloads and web-surfing, flawless video and audio streaming. Dial-up, although it cannot compare in speed to broadband, is still being used by millions, and far from becoming obsolete. Here are a few reasons why dial-up isn't going away any time soon.
Many people have no choice but dial-up. In the larger cities and other more populated areas in the U.S., wireless, dsl, and cable are becoming more prevalent each day. However, many thousands of rural homes are yet to gain access to most or all types of broadband internet. The majority of them have the choice between a very expensive and potentially unreliable satellite, or slow, but cheap dial-up. Unless these people are using their home internet for business purposes, satellite is hardly worth the expense.
Dial-up is simple to set up. Setting up a dial-up connection takes a matter of minutes. Any computer that has a dial-up modem can be set up with a phone cord to any analog phone line. Finding a dial-up provider is easy, and most of them provide an inexpensive service the same day, unlike many broadband services that require contracts, shipping of expensive equipment, and complicated set up processes.
Some people have minimal surfing habits. Live video and audio streaming is usually not possible without broadband, but reading news, emailing, and banking are certainly no problem for dial-up. Some people, especially in the older generations, do not spend much time online and only need it for a few necessities. Many of these people grew up with dial-up and simply don't want to change. Since dial-up is often much less expensive, it makes an appealing offer.
Broadband is often available at work. Some people have internet access all day at work and therefore don't use it enough at home to justify paying large amounts of money on broadband. Therefore, dial-up is a back up solution for occasional use.
Dial-up can be improved. The two biggest complaints about dial-up is that it is too slow and ties up the phone line. There are several solutions for slow speeds, like accelerators, different browsers, and other software to help speed up your browsing or downloading. Internet call waiting is now available on most (V.92 standard) modems, and alerts the user of an incoming call while connected.
Dial-up travels. Anyone can establish a dial-up connection at a vacation home, business trip, or hotel in minutes. In comparison, moving even to the other end of the house can be a challenge with all the wires, and equipment required for broadband Internet. With the service being provisioned directly on-site, a dsl, satellite, or cable connection is restricted only to that home. A dial-up customer simply changes their access number if they move to a new home (assuming they move some distance). A broadband customer would have to reinstall all their equipment, and often reorder the service even if they had to relocate several blocks away!
Until broadband becomes more broadly available, or available at less expensive rates, dial-up will continue to meet the needs of those who simply don't have another choice or wish to save money.