AOL Dial-Up Still Generates Millions Of Dollars From Over 2.1 Million Subscribers
Remember the terrible sounds your modem used to make when dialing up access to the Internet
? In the early days, you had to monitor your minutes online, practice patience as pictures downloaded at a snail's pace, and tolerate trolls who would try to boot you offline with programs called punters. It was a crappy era for the Internet, and for more than 2.1 million people, they're still tolerating some of those headaches.
According to AOL's
financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal 2015, over 2.1 million people in the U.S. subscribe to its dial-up Internet service
. And for the privilege of connecting to the web the way the rest of us used to do it two decades ago, they're paying on average $20.83 per month. That's actually up by more than a dollar compared to a year ago.
Included among AOL's 2.1+ million dial-up subscribers are those participating in free trials, as well as some who are paying reduced rates or nothing at all, both of which come about by trying to quit AOL and being enticed to stay through a discounted or temporarily free access.
Nevertheless, the average is over $20 per month, and that adds up to millions of dollars in revenue for an antiquated way of connecting to the Internet. Even if hopping online through a 56K modem, download speeds are still hundreds of times slower than the average broadband speed in the U.S. You also have to consider all the additional content on the web today -- it's no longer static pictures and text, but rich applications and all kinds of other bandwidth-hogging content.
Be that as it may, it's obviously a service that's still needed and desired by millions.