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

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.

  • AbdullahG
    I think I vomited a little in my mouth...
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • mortsmi7
    Actually its not suprising considering that rural broadband access grows at a very slow rate due to lack of customer density.
    Reply
  • marthisdil
    @iam2thecrowe: it's not a necessity. It's a choice. If it's not available where you live, and you MUST have it, move. That simple.
    Reply
  • geekapproved
    AOL still exists?????!

    We all know how many dumb people on this planet.
    Reply
  • mindless728
    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
    Reply
  • zorky9
    wow... grandpa has a lot of time in his hands :)

    chatting on MIRC while downloading a hi-res pictur eof Erika Eleniak.
    Reply
  • shqtth
    I guess some people out there are still using the free cd/floppy trials ;) haha
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    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).
    Reply
  • shqtth
    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.
    Reply