Dial-Up… it still exists? Why?

Fair Warning: This has been on my mind for a long time, and it’s not meant to demean or offend anyone. If you easily take offense to this topic, don’t read my rant. Otherwise, continue on…
Personal rant:
Amusingly enough, I woke up this morning to read about how a nonprofit service provider added “national” dial-up services to their arsenal of product lines. As a technologist, I have to wonder where this is going.


Before I get into much detail, I have to proceed with a side-bar story. More than a year ago, I had this great idea of bringing broadband to low-income and rural areas via WiFi. Similar to the community wireless in greater neighborhoods like Seattle, Portland, and other great cities, I saw an opportunity to bring forth something to North Carolina to bring those that cannot afford the fifty dollars a month cable coverage or are out in the rural areas of who knows where.
Needless to say, there was no response from any nonprofit player that I seeked out and frustrated with the disappointment in others, I set out with new-found effort to set up my own nonprofit.
A year later, we’re waiting on our 501c3 status and waiting patiently to get started here in the Gate City to help low income families get connected. Key to education these days is broadband service, no matter how it’s distributed. I aim to serve.
My first gripe:dial-up accelerator. Do people know what this is? Let me enlighten the non-techies. When you request a website, your images are sent to a server first and downgraded in resolution. Thus, you feel like you’re achieving 5x the speed, but in all reality, you’re getting images that you can’t read.
My second gripe: While I am trying to provide to low-income families what everyone else has available, people are still trying to find money in old technology by reinforcing how secure it is. I can tell you that whether you’re on dial-up or broadband, you’re just as likely to attract intruders onto your platform. Let me raise another perspective. I’m aiming at broadband for $10-15 per month for these families with grant support for the equipment and have peaked local foundations’ interests with my project.
So the point? Why is it that we’re trying to push dial-up? Broadband is cheap, and there are plenty of players with a vast percentage of technologies to pursue this dream. Achieving the digital divide is extremely simplistic if you’ve gained support of people that care about people. In 2005, the nonprofit I founded is expected to be lighting up some communities locally into the broadband age. So the question is: why are you not doing this also?
End rant.

  • Why do auto manufacturers refuse to let go of the Infernal Combustion Engine? Because they’re dinosaurs who know no other way just like the dial-up companies have become. An inability to adapt is the only reason dinosaurs die off.
    Of course, in about 5 years when IPL becomes available I suspect dial-up and many other systems will become obsolete. Of course, we’re also dealing with more dinosaurs when we’re talking about IPL.

  • Why do auto manufacturers refuse to let go of the Infernal Combustion Engine? Because they’re dinosaurs who know no other way just like the dial-up companies have become. An inability to adapt is the only reason dinosaurs die off.
    Of course, in about 5 years when IPL becomes available I suspect dial-up and many other systems will become obsolete. Of course, we’re also dealing with more dinosaurs when we’re talking about IPL.

  • darkmoon

    Yeah, well… this is the same reason why a certain cable company sells “wireless broadband” (aka a cable router that has 802.11 on it) for an extra $10 per month, and the reason why a certain telecommunications company based in the United States doesn’t care that NTT DoCoMo is already testing 4G networks (1 Gigabit wireless for cellular). What annoys me, is that as an geeky American… I CARE. What the hell.

  • darkmoon

    Yeah, well… this is the same reason why a certain cable company sells “wireless broadband” (aka a cable router that has 802.11 on it) for an extra $10 per month, and the reason why a certain telecommunications company based in the United States doesn’t care that NTT DoCoMo is already testing 4G networks (1 Gigabit wireless for cellular). What annoys me, is that as an geeky American… I CARE. What the hell.