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Unbelievable: 3.5 Million People Still Pay For AOL Dial-up

By - Source: SplatF | B 74 comments

You know what this means? Grandpa likes porn.

It seems like an eternity ago that AOL was the center of online life for all of America's squares. Of course, back in the days before broadband, when you have to cram up your phone line just to play Diablo 2, AOL were the biggest game in town. Even people who should have known better used them. In the years since broadband became ubiquitous, AOL has bled customers like one of Queen Victoria's grandsons. Its attempt to reinvent itself as a publishing house has yielded mixed results, and as it turns out, it still makes most of its profits from selling Internet access.

We are not kidding. AOL still has real, actual dial-up customers. 3.5 million of them in fact. That surprising news comes courtesy of its latest earnings report, which details mainly the continuing history of AOL's decline. Their revenue continues to drop, down 8 percent over Q3 2010. Sure, $531,000,000 is still a lot of money, but that's 30 million less than the same time last year. What's interesting is that the loss mainly comes from a reduction in subscribers. The ad revenue increased significantly over 2010, and it still has a free cash flow of $51 million, which isn't a lot compared to its heights a decade ago, but the company is still profitable, shockingly.

But we don't really care about all that. What we do care about is that fact that there are still people out there reduced to using AOL dial up service. I'm willing to bet a good portion of them don't realize they're still being billed - some also have probably fallen victim to AOL's notoriously difficult cancellation policies. Still, it's nice to know that your grandmother isn't being denied access to Lolcats.

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    mortsmi7 , November 4, 2011 8:21 PM
    Actually its not suprising considering that rural broadband access grows at a very slow rate due to lack of customer density.
  • 24 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , November 4, 2011 8:18 PM
    "What we do care about is that fact that there are still people out there reduced to using AOL dial up service. I'm willing to bet a good portion of them don't realize they're still being billed"
    the reason people resort to dialup is because they cant get any other service. Where I live i cant get any ADSL service, no ports available. Many areas can't get any form of broadband, 3G, ADSL, Cable, and they can only get dial-up. The problem here is the goverment/communications people not getting their act together and realising this is a problem and its becoming a necessity to have high-speed internet.
  • 24 Hide
    AbdullahG , November 4, 2011 8:16 PM
    I think I vomited a little in my mouth...
Other Comments
    Display all 74 comments.
  • 24 Hide
    AbdullahG , November 4, 2011 8:16 PM
    I think I vomited a little in my mouth...
  • 22 Hide
    soldier37 , November 4, 2011 8:18 PM
    I second that comment.....1999 called they want their dial up connections back...
  • 24 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , November 4, 2011 8:18 PM
    "What we do care about is that fact that there are still people out there reduced to using AOL dial up service. I'm willing to bet a good portion of them don't realize they're still being billed"
    the reason people resort to dialup is because they cant get any other service. Where I live i cant get any ADSL service, no ports available. Many areas can't get any form of broadband, 3G, ADSL, Cable, and they can only get dial-up. The problem here is the goverment/communications people not getting their act together and realising this is a problem and its becoming a necessity to have high-speed internet.
  • 26 Hide
    mortsmi7 , November 4, 2011 8:21 PM
    Actually its not suprising considering that rural broadband access grows at a very slow rate due to lack of customer density.
  • 8 Hide
    mindless728 , November 4, 2011 8:27 PM
    Not surprised at all, if you live down the street from my parents its dial up or nothing as 3G services are non-existent due to the valley we live in
  • 3 Hide
    zorky9 , November 4, 2011 8:29 PM
    wow... grandpa has a lot of time in his hands :) 

    chatting on MIRC while downloading a hi-res pictur eof Erika Eleniak.
  • 0 Hide
    shqtth , November 4, 2011 8:33 PM
    I guess some people out there are still using the free cd/floppy trials ;)  haha
  • -7 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , November 4, 2011 8:33 PM
    I stopped paying for AOL as soon as it became free to connect to it via your ISP. I still use AOL E-mail. Really the only reason I'm still on it. It's also convenient to have the news right in front of you in the same window and the Instant Messenger has expanded to communicate with other services, not just AOL/AIM contacts. I really do hate how much it slows down your computer though, but this is becoming less and less of a factor with newer technology. I'm on a 4-year old dual core machine and just upgraded my GPU from an NVIDIA 800 GTS 320 to a NVIDIA 460 SE 1GB. When I launch AOL, I don't see much of a difference. I game with it in the background, granted I don't really play the Battlefield or Call of Duty games, mainly just Halo once in a while. After a few minutes of launching AOL, it's just fine. I can't say the same for my older computer, though (2003-mid 2007).
  • -2 Hide
    shqtth , November 4, 2011 8:36 PM
    Not sure why AOL does not sell rebranded adsl/cable. don't they feel sorry for their customers running dial up? Customers are not just paying for the service, but the experience. Not sure why AOL wants to associate themselves with slow internet.
  • 16 Hide
    beardguy , November 4, 2011 8:38 PM
    We are the 1%!! :p 

    There's the standard youtube options 360p, 240p, etc.

    Or if your on AOL dialup , you get the options "slideshow" or "text description of video"
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 4, 2011 8:40 PM
    Some places still dont have DSL. Where I live in a small city, we just had the ability to run DSL 2 years ago.
    Never looked back at dialup and DSL is slow too :p 
  • 17 Hide
    loomis86 , November 4, 2011 8:44 PM
    Some people cant get high speed internet without going satellite. Some people refuse to pay for satellite. I don't blame them.
  • 2 Hide
    Montezuma , November 4, 2011 8:48 PM
    mortsmi7Actually its not suprising considering that rural broadband access grows at a very slow rate due to lack of customer density.


    Well, it is surprising that people still pay AOL for internet access. The fact that people that live out is more rural areas, almost like myself(I use Verizon Wireless, which is about as fast as dial-up), have to rely on dialup is not surprising. Still, I live in a county which is larger than many(almost 30,000) that have close to 100% access to broadband, and it a part of a metro area(Atlanta), but only 20%, or less, has access to broadband.

    I live on a street that has quite a lot of houses on it, even though we all own 10+ acres each, but we are nowhere close to having access to any type of real broadband. There is a lot of money to be had, if AT&T, or the other idiot companies, would roll out some real broadband. The only issue is that we do not live in downtown Atlanta, where all the money is.
  • -6 Hide
    dark_lord69 , November 4, 2011 8:49 PM
    sheep that didn't know the heard already moved.
  • 0 Hide
    beardguy , November 4, 2011 8:53 PM
    All joking aside, my in-laws and parents still use AOL!!

    Every time they come over instead of just using normal internet, they insist on signing into AOL ... and it's only a matter of seconds before you hear the annoying "You've got mail" voice.
  • 5 Hide
    DavidC1 , November 4, 2011 8:55 PM
    mortsmi7Actually its not suprising considering that rural broadband access grows at a very slow rate due to lack of customer density.


    This is also why European and Asian countries had better internet than the US and Canada. The population density is that much higher and payoff is faster in more heavier populated areas.

    Look at Korea for example, they have the fastest internet in the world. They are also one of the most densely populated countries that aren't poor. It'll be easier in China and Japan as well.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , November 4, 2011 9:03 PM
    iam2thecrowe"What we do care about is that fact that there are still people out there reduced to using AOL dial up service. I'm willing to bet a good portion of them don't realize they're still being billed"the reason people resort to dialup is because they cant get any other service. Where I live i cant get any ADSL service, no ports available. Many areas can't get any form of broadband, 3G, ADSL, Cable, and they can only get dial-up. The problem here is the goverment/communications people not getting their act together and realising this is a problem and its becoming a necessity to have high-speed internet.

    I understand the need for dialup in some areas (my dad was one of them before he went crazy and got satellite internet). But the AOL dialup? Really? I mean there are sooooo many choices out there in the world for dialup service that are way better! Plus there are cell phone plans that are becoming less horrible, and are worlds faster than Dialup speeds.
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