Dialup RFD

Mike over at Techdirt posts today about the death or not of dialup as an onramp to the internet. He talks about two reports, one from Nielsen/NetRatings that says dialup is dying and one from Fox that says it is not.

It’s not, and here’s why.

A lot of folks, including the myopic commenter to the Techdirt post who exclaimed “I would rather not have the internet at all than to use dialup ever again,” seem to think dialup versus broadband is a choice. For a whole lot of people, including my sister, dialup is the only choice, because they live in rural areas and small towns where broadband is simply not available.

A more thoughtful commenter replied that his or her only real choice was dialup, even though he or she lives very close to a major urban area:

“You learn to adjust–For instance, I get my podcasts by chipping away at them for an hour in the morning and an hour at night–so as not to tie up the phone line. MIght take 2-3 days to get a big one, but eventually the job gets done.”

While digital downloads and other fat pipe stuff are a lot harder, you can get a lot done via dialup when it’s your only choice. We all did a lot of stuff over the net via dialup back in the day, and some folks still have to.