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(LA Times)   3% of Americans still use dial-up Internet service. Apparently if AOL was good enough back in 1998, why change now?   (latimes.com) divider line 53
    More: Strange, dial-up Internet, Pew Research Center, internet, Americans, internet service  
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414 clicks; posted to Business » on 05 Sep 2013 at 8:33 AM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-05 08:10:49 AM
High Speed internet is still not available everywhere in the US and satellite internet sucks balls.  I suspect that is the reason.

/Note: I am actually pro ball sucking
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-09-05 08:43:13 AM
The house I lived in when I was 0 is too far from the switch to get high speed phone service and I don't think it's been hooked up with cable. It's on a dirt road with 3-5 houses along several miles. Providing internet is not cost effective and there is no effective government mandate for universal service.
 
2013-09-05 08:43:17 AM

EvilEgg: High Speed internet is still not available everywhere in the US and satellite internet sucks balls.  I suspect that is the reason.

/Note: I am actually pro ball sucking


We use a 3G mifi for our internet.  The cable line ends about two miles from our house and  If we were about 200 feet further west we wouldn't get a 3G signal as well.  I have been looking into satellite since getting the 3G there have been changes (higher caps and faster speeds) but there are still a lot of "pros and cons" of each service.

Internet availability is the worst thing about living in a rural area.  Actually, its about the only bad thing (in my opinion at least) about this lifestyle.
 
2013-09-05 08:46:34 AM

ZAZ: Providing internet is not cost effective and there is no effective government mandate for universal service.


If I had the time and money I would seriously like to research some way to make cost effective rural internet.  Maybe some sort of co-op, or invest in new tech.  There has got to be a way out there and I feel like just nobody is really trying because it only effects about 25% of the population.
 
2013-09-05 09:10:28 AM
It all depends where you live in rural America for fast internet.  In our area Glenwood telephone has laid fiber to all of the houses in its area and went to Holdrege NE with fiber.  Had to petition the Public Service Commission to change phone companies and get fiber to my house (live only 1/2 mile away from where the fiber was laid).  Was not going to wait until Centurylink would lay fiber out here (probably never will).  Well worth the hassle.

Wireless internet while it is better then dial up still has its problems.
 
2013-09-05 09:16:08 AM
We still have a few dialup customers, mainly people who just want to check email once a day and look at pictures of their grandkids.  It's also useful as a final, final backup if the more complicated systems fail in a disaster and you need to communicate.
 
2013-09-05 09:26:27 AM

ArkPanda: We still have a few dialup customers, mainly people who just want to check email once a day and look at pictures of their grandkids.  It's also useful as a final, final backup if the more complicated systems fail in a disaster and you need to communicate.


No, the final, final backup is ham radio.  Because unlike almost every other communication method you can think of, it doesn't require any infrastructure to work.

So long as you've got some form of electricity (batteries, solar, car, generator, etc.), and you can put an antenna of some kind up, you can communicate.

And yes, you can send pictures, data, and e-mails, etc. over ham radio:   WINLINK.
 
2013-09-05 09:29:04 AM

Burr: ZAZ: Providing internet is not cost effective and there is no effective government mandate for universal service.

If I had the time and money I would seriously like to research some way to make cost effective rural internet.  Maybe some sort of co-op, or invest in new tech.  There has got to be a way out there and I feel like just nobody is really trying because it only effects about 25% of the population.


the fellow who invented the forerunner to cable television did so to bring TV to rural and low population areas. he later evolved it to cable TV. he lived in PA, died maybe 2 years ago.
 
2013-09-05 09:31:03 AM

EvilEgg: High Speed internet is still not available everywhere in the US and satellite internet sucks balls.  I suspect that is the reason.

/Note: I am actually pro ball sucking


There are also some older internet users (my mom's cousin being one of them) who worry that if they drop their Compuserve or AOL or whatever they've been using since the 90s, that they will lose their old e-mail.
 
2013-09-05 09:34:20 AM

Burr: If I had the time and money I would seriously like to research some way to make cost effective rural internet. Maybe some sort of co-op, or invest in new tech. There has got to be a way out there and I feel like just nobody is really trying because it only effects about 25% of the population.


Out here we have a company called Roadstar Internet. They use a wireless system that allows an antenna (say, on one house or a tall building) to serve a cluster of houses spread out over several acres. That antenna uses a form of directional Wifi and potentially a couple of hops to a more powerful antenna that in turn connects to a tower up on the Blue Ridge where it goes to ground. I had their service for several years and was very happy with it, before Comcast eventually laid cable out to my neighborhood. Both the installation cost and the service cost were very reasonable.

There's a bunch of other small local outfits doing similar things across the rural parts of Virginia and West Virginia, but I don't if it would work for the much wider open spaces out west.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-09-05 09:50:05 AM
In the 1980s the competition for commercial network connections was between building-to-building microwave links and telecom. I think microwave was better in good weather, but that may have varied depending on the local wired network.
 
2013-09-05 09:53:32 AM
My parents do because they are cheap.  Plus I'm not sure it would be a good thing for their computers to be connected to the net 24/7.  They aren't exactly computer savvy.
 
2013-09-05 10:16:55 AM
I still think the most effective way to get high-speed out to the rural areas with the least amount of investment in infrastructure is to do it over the power lines. There are very few houses out there that would even want internet that don't already have power running to them. It's already possible, it just seems the rural electric co-ops don't really want to get into the ISP business.
 
2013-09-05 10:30:01 AM
My in-laws just dumped AOL a month or so ago and got high speed internet.  It was cheaper to get a cable modem.  They also didn't have a computer for several years.
 
2013-09-05 10:48:01 AM
They are hell bent on using the 3 months free CD's.
 
2013-09-05 10:54:32 AM
Until about 8 years ago I had dialup. Reasons being  I was lazy and it was free. The company I had gotten it through years before had been, bought , sold and merged so many times I was just forgotten. So hey free dialup.
 
2013-09-05 10:57:38 AM
Up until late 2003, I lived in Gary, Indiana, where my best option was using three modems and three phone lines to achieve an aggregate connection of 28.8kpbs (3x the federally mandated minimum 9.6k dialup speed). I actually had to specifically tell my ISP's tech guys what to do to configure their RAS to work with that kind of connection. I was paying over $100 a month for a connection I could have had in 1993 if I lived someplace with a decent telecommunications infrastructure.

Anyway, it would in no way shock me if there were still places even in relatively urban environments where for one reason or other the infrastructure just doesn't support high speed connectivity of any sort.
 
2013-09-05 10:58:25 AM
I have an older relative who just won't give up their dialup for roadband. They cite the difficulty of cancelling the service, even when I offer to cancel it for them. So along with the people who live in rural areas that can't get broadband I bet a big part of the group are older people.

I don't miss dialup. Taking 20 minutes to download a picture of a nude woman an MP3 was painful.
 
2013-09-05 11:05:58 AM

buzzcut73: I still think the most effective way to get high-speed out to the rural areas with the least amount of investment in infrastructure is to do it over the power lines. There are very few houses out there that would even want internet that don't already have power running to them. It's already possible, it just seems the rural electric co-ops don't really want to get into the ISP business.


People move to rural areas to get away from neighbors, taxes, government, etc.

Why should electric coops get into the ISP business?
 
2013-09-05 11:12:30 AM
mcreadyblue:

People move to rural areas to get away from neighbors, taxes, government, etc.

Why should electric coops get into the ISP business?


I'm not questioning why people move into rural areas. Hell, I've lived in them for the reasons you stated. What I was saying is that a lot of places too rural for cable or DSL already have electricity, because -most- people that move out to the sticks do have electricity. Those that don't already have power probably aren't too interested in the internet anyway, though some of them might be.

So: The lines are there already. The technology mostly exists to send high speed data over said existing lines.
As far as why the REC wouldn't be interested in selling high speed data transfer, that's up to them. Some of them may in the future.
 
2013-09-05 11:14:28 AM
I have a property (not my home) that is 1/2 mile from the nearest cable drop. Vios is not available. High speed internet is not an option unless I want to pay $10,000 for them to run the cable down my road (I'm the only property back there). There's very weak cell signal, and on a GOOD day I get the "E" indicating I'm on the edge of the network.

I do have copper, and for $12 a month I can have unlimited dial up service there. I'm not watching youtube videos, but it does allow me to check my email and do basic surfing while I'm away from my home.
 
2013-09-05 11:16:40 AM
This again, again?
 
2013-09-05 11:21:37 AM
In with the "rural" crowd. There are some small towns (I'm thinking in bayou Louisiana and bog Florida) that got wired for telephone in the 1990s.  Now, since those places currently have electric and telephone lines but nothing else, I'd say that 3% market sounds about right for a few niche businesses.
 
2013-09-05 11:24:21 AM
That number should decrease as the incumbent telcos get permission to drop those pesky expensive rural copper pairs.  Then, it's 2GB/month cell service (if you get it) or getting out the ol' CB radio.
 
2013-09-05 11:26:54 AM
"No Emmet! Its my turn to use the sex-box to look at them dirty pictures."
 
2013-09-05 11:32:04 AM
You mean there are some people whose lives don't revolve around the internet and following the minutiae of vapid e-friends at high speed!?!? Barbarians!
 
2013-09-05 11:34:07 AM

buzzcut73: I still think the most effective way to get high-speed out to the rural areas with the least amount of investment in infrastructure is to do it over the power lines. There are very few houses out there that would even want internet that don't already have power running to them. It's already possible, it just seems the rural electric co-ops don't really want to get into the ISP business.


I work with many municipal utilities and many of them have zero interest in doing anything new. There is also the matter of funding and the fact that the age of their average employee is like 50.
 
2013-09-05 11:38:01 AM

EvilEgg: High Speed internet is still not available everywhere in the US and satellite internet sucks balls.  I suspect that is the reason.

/Note: I am actually pro ball sucking


Not only that but Medicare still uses dial up to send/receive claims.
 
2013-09-05 11:47:05 AM
But...it's now up to version 3.0!
www.adamjonas.com
 
2013-09-05 11:47:52 AM

buzzcut73: So: The lines are there already. The technology mostly exists to send high speed data over said existing lines.


The problem with that idea is that it's noisy.  It spews RF all over the place.  They can filter it, somewhat, but the problem doesn't go away completely:

The second major issue is Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) with main parameters the signal strength and operating frequency. The system was expected to use frequencies of 10 to 30 MHz in the High Frequency (HF) range, which has been used for many decades by a variety of communications systems (military, aeronautical, amateur radio, etc.) and by international and regional shortwave broadcasters. Power lines are unshielded and will act as antennas for the signals they carry, and they will cause interference to high frequency radio communications and broadcasting.
 
2013-09-05 11:56:55 AM
We had several substations at my last job that were too far from cable and had spotty satellite service.  Dialup was the only option.  I imagine there are households in the same position.
 
2013-09-05 11:58:28 AM

buzzcut73: The lines are there already. The technology mostly exists to send high speed data over said existing lines.


Depending on your definition of 'high speed data'.  Besides the whole radio emissions complaints  dittybopper mentions, none of the tests so far, with some pretty advanced coding/detection methods, have reliably gotten more than about 2 Mbps (shared) over even a two mile segment.  The satellite providers, for all their suck, do at least as well.
 
2013-09-05 11:58:40 AM

RedPhoenix122: But...it's now up to version 3.0!
[www.adamjonas.com image 500x333]


What is that black and silver thing in the bag?
 
2013-09-05 11:59:39 AM
Some people don't sit in front of their computer 20 hours a day commenting on Fark, watching porn cat videos and updating their Facebook status. If all you want to do is check your email or get a weather update once in a while, dial-up is sufficient.
 
2013-09-05 12:03:45 PM

mod3072: Some people don't sit in front of their computer 20 hours a day commenting on Fark, watching porn cat videos and updating their Facebook status. If all you want to do is check your email or get a weather update once in a while, dial-up is sufficient.


Not really.  My parents don't do that and it's pretty frustrating for me to update their system when I go home.  Some of those windows updates are over 100 mb, which is way too big for dialup to download within a reasonable amount of time.  Plus every day, you have updates to malewarebytes, antivirus, emails (with embedded graphics, picture attachments, etc.).  Dialup is just way too slow.  But like I said, my folks are not very computer savvy so if they ever get broadband, I dunno what kind of trouble they will get themselves into.
 
2013-09-05 12:52:24 PM
I live just north of Charlottesville (I have a high-speed InterWebs connect), but about half of my county is still forced to choose either between dial-up (not even DSL) or satellite.
 
2013-09-05 12:57:57 PM

Burr: ZAZ: Providing internet is not cost effective and there is no effective government mandate for universal service.

If I had the time and money I would seriously like to research some way to make cost effective rural internet.  Maybe some sort of co-op, or invest in new tech.  There has got to be a way out there and I feel like just nobody is really trying because it only effects about 25% of the population.


That wouldn't work in North Carolina. TW and AT&T would pay off the state house to make it illegal, just like they did when municipals started was offering 100MB/s ftth for $45/month and they collectively shiat their pants.
 
2013-09-05 01:07:59 PM

buzzcut73: mcreadyblue:

People move to rural areas to get away from neighbors, taxes, government, etc.

Why should electric coops get into the ISP business?

I'm not questioning why people move into rural areas. Hell, I've lived in them for the reasons you stated. What I was saying is that a lot of places too rural for cable or DSL already have electricity, because -most- people that move out to the sticks do have electricity. Those that don't already have power probably aren't too interested in the internet anyway, though some of them might be.

So: The lines are there already. The technology mostly exists to send high speed data over said existing lines.
As far as why the REC wouldn't be interested in selling high speed data transfer, that's up to them. Some of them may in the future.


The Electric Power Board in my city got into the ISP business with great success.  They bring Fiber Optic Internet to my house and I don't need a modem.  Bandwidth levels range from 50 Mbps to 1000 Mbps.

It's fast as hell, I have never had an outage in 3 years and I got to tell ComCast to shove it.
 
2013-09-05 01:31:42 PM
The fact that I couldn't bear going back to being in that 3% is the sole reason I've been fighting with Verizon over my shiatty DSL connection that the refuse to troubleshoot yet continue to bill me full price for... blah.  The only other option in the area is cellular data ($$) or Comcast, but oh wait, I'm 8/10ths of a mile too far away to hook me up.

/fark verizon
 
2013-09-05 02:14:30 PM

Meatschool: The fact that I couldn't bear going back to being in that 3% is the sole reason I've been fighting with Verizon over my shiatty DSL connection that the refuse to troubleshoot yet continue to bill me full price for... blah.  The only other option in the area is cellular data ($$) or Comcast, but oh wait, I'm 8/10ths of a mile too far away to hook me up.

/fark verizon


I think the ISP market could stand for a big dose of truth in advertising.  This whole "pay for up to 100MB/s, get 1 MB/s" garbage really needs to stop.

As a farker said in a thread a few days ago, it's like going into a restaurant, ordering surf and turf, and getting a hot dog and a Filet-O-Fish.  And when the bill comes, you get charged for the surf and turf, because hey, that's what you ordered, isn't it?
 
2013-09-05 03:33:57 PM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-05 03:53:25 PM

Robo Beat: This whole "pay for up to 100MB/s, get 1 MB/s" garbage really needs to stop.


One of the things that gets me is that they have acknowledged there is a problem.  But keep going in circles changing ports, or changing the pair I'm on, round and around and around, without actually trying to diagnose the problem.  I notice my connection drop out twice last night.  I really don't know where else to turn.  The state doesn't seem to regulate DSL, only voice, I've gone to the FCC, the BBB, whomever, to no avail.  I'd cancel tomorrow, but I need to have reasonable internet access and dialup just doesn't cut it anymore.  Boo.
 
2013-09-05 03:58:43 PM

The Goon Show: It all depends where you live in rural America for fast internet.  In our area Glenwood telephone has laid fiber to all of the houses in its area and went to Holdrege NE with fiber.  Had to petition the Public Service Commission to change phone companies and get fiber to my house (live only 1/2 mile away from where the fiber was laid).  Was not going to wait until Centurylink would lay fiber out here (probably never will).  Well worth the hassle.

Wireless internet while it is better then dial up still has its problems.


This.

I live in the panhandle of Nebraska, and I have a 50Mb fiber connection to my house. It's all about the communities and how they choose to invest.
 
2013-09-05 04:13:17 PM

dchurch0: I live in the panhandle of Nebraska, and I have a 50Mb fiber connection to my house. It's all about the communities and how they choose to invest.


I need to find one of those communities.
 
2013-09-05 06:09:07 PM

buzzcut73: I still think the most effective way to get high-speed out to the rural areas with the least amount of investment in infrastructure is to do it over the power lines. There are very few houses out there that would even want internet that don't already have power running to them. It's already possible, it just seems the rural electric co-ops don't really want to get are prohibited by telco and cable duopolies and their pet legislators from getting into the ISP business.


FTFY--in some states (North Carolina, most infamously) the local rural electrical cooperatives and telephone cooperatives are PROHIBITED from offering municipal broadband service.  (This is especially problematic in areas where Time-Warner and/or the former Bellsouth (now in AT&T drag) have been the dominant broadband providers in the state.)

Also, as others have noted, BPL is EXTREMELY RF-dirty (and interferes not only with regular amateur radio but also emergency comms (amateur radio AND lower-band public safety) to such a degree that the FCC has consistently said "no") and only delivers DSL (if that) level speed--and probably not even THAT across the usual infrastructure available to rural electrical co-ops.

Better, IMNSHO, would be to start a fibre-to-the-home co-op :D

/and yes, pretty much the ONLY reason a lot of those rural areas still on dialup HAVE electric and phone service is thanks to rural electric and telco co-ops
//AT&T is very much trying to get out of their obligation to provide the latter to rural areas in KY, won't be shocked to see telco co-ops making a serious comeback in those areas
 
2013-09-05 06:36:16 PM

Meatschool: dchurch0: I live in the panhandle of Nebraska, and I have a 50Mb fiber connection to my house. It's all about the communities and how they choose to invest.

I need to find one of those communities.


Harlan, IA, and Scottsbluff, NE are the only two I know of... but I'm a midwestern geek. I know nothing of rural areas outside of IA and NE.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-09-05 06:58:12 PM
The other nice thing about Scottsbluff is it's not entirely flat. You have Scotts Bluff to break up the plains.  I think I'd go mad if you made me live in the 100% flat part of the Midwest.
 
2013-09-05 07:40:03 PM

dchurch0: Meatschool: dchurch0: I live in the panhandle of Nebraska, and I have a 50Mb fiber connection to my house. It's all about the communities and how they choose to invest.

I need to find one of those communities.

Harlan, IA, and Scottsbluff, NE are the only two I know of... but I'm a midwestern geek. I know nothing of rural areas outside of IA and NE.


My sister-in-law lives in a tiny town of 50 in Northeast Nebraska (Dixon County, nntc.net is the co-op) that has passive-optical-fiber to the every house.  Heck... FioS didn't replace every copper pair, even if it was just granny calling her kids.

That co-op got some federal USF money and discount loans to do it.  But, running fiber is really not out of the realm of really pretty small telcos any more.  Your techs have to be a little more detail oriented to do fuses and terminations than the old copper-jockeys were.  But, still.  If farking Maskell, Nebraska can install it, AT&T or CenturyLink could easily be lighting up hundreds of thousands of houses per year.  If 'good enough' and 'quarterly profits' weren't the only things that mattered.
 
2013-09-05 07:59:44 PM

Lawnchair: dchurch0: Meatschool: dchurch0: I live in the panhandle of Nebraska, and I have a 50Mb fiber connection to my house. It's all about the communities and how they choose to invest.

I need to find one of those communities.

Harlan, IA, and Scottsbluff, NE are the only two I know of... but I'm a midwestern geek. I know nothing of rural areas outside of IA and NE.

My sister-in-law lives in a tiny town of 50 in Northeast Nebraska (Dixon County, nntc.net is the co-op) that has passive-optical-fiber to the every house.  Heck... FioS didn't replace every copper pair, even if it was just granny calling her kids.

That co-op got some federal USF money and discount loans to do it.  But, running fiber is really not out of the realm of really pretty small telcos any more.  Your techs have to be a little more detail oriented to do fuses and terminations than the old copper-jockeys were.  But, still.  If farking Maskell, Nebraska can install it, AT&T or CenturyLink could easily be lighting up hundreds of thousands of houses per year.  If 'good enough' and 'quarterly profits' weren't the only things that mattered.


Same with my gtmc.net  The guy from Qwest (Now Centurylink) told me at the time that the smaller companies could get the federal money to lay the fiber buy his company was considered to big for the loans and would have to foot the bill themselves.  (I guess spending money to have the name on sports venues is better business then quality phone lines).

The town of Funk (with gtmc.net) has fiber to every door, and even all of the rural customers.  Holdrege only 6 miles away (now with Centurylink) nothing.  Glenwood has even laid fiber to BD in Holdrege because they needed a faster connections then Cenurylink could give them.
 
2013-09-05 09:23:28 PM
Got satellite internet and it sucks major balls.   broadband only reaches out to about 3 miles from me.
 
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