education, technology, and everything else

Still using dial-up

Posted by Miranda on February 27, 2009

According to an article at, only 9 percent of Americans were still using dial-up in a study last year by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

I wonder how many of those are using dial-up because they can’t get anything else. Our ECFiber project is stalled for lack of investors. Money for rural broadband has been stripped from the stimulus package.

And it never ceases to amaze me how soon people who do have access to broadband forget what it’s like to use dial-up. Sometimes it only takes a few seconds before they are gushing about GMail (ever tried that on dial-up – excruciating) or sending you links to videos, or worse still the videos themselves….
Or, they get snippy. “Why don’t you move to someplace civilized? I was asked the other day as I was complaining. Um, excuse me?
These are probably the same kind of people who objected to rural electrification.

4 Responses to “Still using dial-up”

  1. Mike said

    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    Making Money $150 An Hour

  2. I understand the feeling and remember it well. I’m always suggesting on discussion lists that people remember this and don’t post photos, post links so those who want can click through.

    I didn’t think we would ever get anything faster than dial-up. Even our dial-up was slow with 14.4Kbaud being the best we could achieve – we had laid a mile of our own phone cable from the phone company interface. But then our tiny local phone company did aDSL. Technically we’re outside the acceptable range but I laid our own cable so it doesn’t count. We don’t get quite full speed over the aDSL but it is orders of magnitude faster than the dial-up and we appreciate it greatly. I had been considering satellite and was glad not to do it. That too would have been hard as we have mountains in the way I needed to move. :)

    As to moving someplace civilized, that’s where we are. They probably just misspoke and meant urbanized. Not the same thing!

    I do have a question for you, I’ve heard about the ECFiber Project but am puzzled. I’ve installed fiber networks – nice, secure from EMPs (lightning) but very expensive. It seems to me that out in the sticks where you and I live, where it is so far between homes, that Wi-Fi would be a better solution for providing high speed internet to many people. I had considered installing a Wi-Fi connection from our mountain down to Barre, VT – seemed like a better solution than satellite. So why fiber instead of wireless?


    Sugar Mtn Farm
    in Vermont

  3. fishercat said

    Hi Walter,
    Some attempts at WiFi have been and are being made (WaveComm, Finowen) but the hill problem means lots and lots of towers. I believe ECFiber folks looked at it and decided it’d be easier in the long run to run the fiber.
    You must use Topsham Telephone?

  4. Aye, Tops-tele. They are amazing, especially considering the difficult territory they have and that they have done better than Verizon for us an many things.

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