AOL dial-up users account for 70% of profit, posts first gains in 8 years

By Rick ยท 21 replies
Feb 8, 2013
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  1. It's no secret that AOL's dial-up business remains a major cash-cow for the once prolific ISP-turned-media company. However, it may surprise you to know that AOL's profit from those dial-up subscribers utterly dwarfs all other facets of its business --...

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  2. Littleczr

    Littleczr TS Addict Posts: 439   +86

    This thing is still around??! I am amazed, brought back memories.
    SantistaUSA likes this.
  3. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 378   +112

    It's no surprise though.. AOL pulls so much over on unsuspecting users. I'd honestly say though.. I ditched dial-up so long ago. I forget so many are still using it, mostly because of their own choices. Either by ISP's flat out lying for whatever reason, or they feel it's all the honestly need.

    Until they have those locked up phone lines at least.. I'm surprised a lot of people don't just get basic unlimited DSL. Not the outrageously priced / high speed DSL but something basic, it also leaves one less needed line in the home. Since some would opt for a second line, mostly for the internet at that time.
  4. RzmmDX

    RzmmDX TS Guru Posts: 313   +67

    Dial up??? Are we talking about the people who live in rural areas that have no cable or DSL or SAT but only have an access to a phone line that are forced to use to ancient technology? This is just so sad that America still has that many rural areas. IS IT STILL AT 56KPS?

    DIAL UP???
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    OK, you're either completely insane, or have flubbed the syntax of that sentence terribly.

    Being that I'm a wonderful, warm, and friendly person, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, and thinking that wasn't exactly what you were trying to say...;)

    I'll leave you with this little gem from Richard Nixon....
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,868   +1,288

    You honestly think that most people would <I>willingly</I> use dial-up if they had a better option? Have you ever even BEEN outside a city, LOL? Cable carriers won't run service anywhere that has less than 25 households per square mile. DSL only works within 3 miles of a switch..and that's if you have well-maintained infrastructure, which most of the territorial US doesn't. 20% of the population has no access to broadband of any kind unless you count satellite or cellular, both of which are extremely limited and expensive. Remember, this is America where we only <b>invent</b> world-changing technolgoies while the rest of the planet makes them affordable and widely available.
    grumpiman and SNGX1275 like this.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    Well, if they ran FIOS 50 miles out to "Old MacDonald's Farm", none of the rest of us would have it either, since we simply could no longer afford it. (Like we can now, right)? Granted, other countries probably have better networks than us. But, so many other countries have much higher population densities than the US. Consider England as the prime example.

    I would be interesting to find out how much internet access there is in rural China or Siberia. I'm guessing precious little.

    Don't get me started on the monetary aspect. Internet, is the same as any other product, the execs need their bonuses, who cares if the inventors get paid, or the people can afford it.

    With all that said, dial up internet is still a miracle, since if you have a local exchange on your phone service, you don't get charged for surfing anywhere in the world. (I'm speaking from my own early experience with dial up.If anyone has more, better, different, or conflicting information, I'd be glad to hear it).
  8. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,957   +214

    Well I lived with dial-up until 2005, there was no other option, satellite Internet was just crazy expensive and very very poor latency.
    What bugged me the most was actually not the speed, with a local transparent proxy firewall you can get decent use out of it.
    The worst was the price, a fixed sum depending on how many minutes you stay online, it was very very much more expensive than my current 100/100 unmetered fibre connection, go figure...
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    AOL had (has?) the of the most obnoxious business model on the planet. One of their sales reps made the national news by being recorded telling a customer, "you can't cancel your internet subscription, you'll be hurting your family".
  10. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,283   +242

    me until 2009. :)
    then usb 3g modem came and wherever there's a 3g signal, I have fast internet; otherwise dial up speed again.
    then wimax modem came but still at stone age speed compared to the rest of the world's blazing fast but low cost internet.
  11. NTAPRO

    NTAPRO TS Evangelist Posts: 809   +102

    I don't think I even had my own (family) pc until 2007/2008 T_T

    before that it was either the public library or the school library.
  12. undead77

    undead77 TS Rookie

    Yeah its strange, I was finally able to get a high speed connection in mid-2004, and I haven't looked back. It was so fast back then, when I first got it. It was 3mb/256k speed. I thought it was incredible, I could download so much crap. Looking back, now, its really crazy that I'm on 30mb/5mb connection with the same internet company. It still seems quite fast, but I know its dwarfed compared to EU/and Asia's connection speeds.
  13. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    You have to remember as well that AOL is awful shady in their billing dept. I had cancelled AOL in 2006. I continued to be billed by AOL until almost the end of 2007. When I had originally called AOL to cancel my service, I was told by a rep that it was cancelled. I figured it was all taken care of. AOL on the other hand had other ideas. They bumped me up to their premium package instead of cancelling my service. I had to fight with them for months. Everytime I called I was assured that the service had been cancelled and they would be refunding my money back to me. This never happend. It wasnt until I got a lawyer that AOL finally cancelled my service. Heres the rub...AOL wouldnt refund ANY of what they charged me. I was told to go to small claims court since I chose to retain a lawyer. And Im only one person. Imagine how many ppl that have cancelled their services but still get billed. AOL switched to shody and shady business practices once they lost their majority of the internet market share. I would suggest that if you have family members who have recently cancelled their AOL to have them check their bank statements. Just to be sure.
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    psycros already said, it isn't an option. You can get 8Meg down cable here for $25/mo if you have tv service with the company. Dialup from the same company is at least $20 (actually couldn't find it on their website, but I know they still offer it, my parents just got satellite a few months ago). So, yes, if it was available 99% of people would switch, problem is, not everyone lives in a city. My parents live 6 miles north of a town of 2000. Nearest town over 12,000 is 25-30 miles away and their town is the largest within that 25 miles.
  15. jonjonjon

    jonjonjon TS Rookie Posts: 18

    England has garbage Internet and its only the size of Louisiana.
  16. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 781   +235

    I lived with dial-up until 2004-2005 when high speed internet finally became available in my area. We're kind of out in the middle of no where so I'm happy that I can even get a 6Mbps DSL connection, which is slow by comparison to newer services and other countries, but is definitely fast enough to game or watch netflix with.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    The question isn't whether it's fast, slow, or intermittent. But whether it is more widely available, with respect to a simple equation; how many square miles of England has internet service, versus how many square miles of England exist. So basically my question is this, "is the ratio of square miles covered to square miles existent, lower, or higher than in the US?

    As I said before, it's easier to have coverage in a smaller geographic area territory, when the population density is higher. England fits that profile. Does it live up to its potential? Dunno. That's why this is more of a question, than an observation.

    This thread is mostly intimating that the "internet grass is greener" everywhere else in the world besides the USA. I find that difficult to process or accept. It may well be true. But yet there are plenty of countries in the world that have as much, or more, undeveloped land than the US. So, finding out what internet access is like in those areas would be very interesting.

    Face it, Gates was trying to sell Windows for 15 bucks in Africa, in an attempt to got those people hooked on it. I'm not sure where that went.Although, I imagine having a copy of Windows and not having a computer to put it in, is irony on a grand scale.

    For all the whining we in the US do about cost and coverage, keep in mind we could also be in a place where the government pulls the plug on the web, at the first inkling of trouble. But yeah, in the US, the telecoms are also bilking us to the brink of bankruptcy.
    misor likes this.
  18. I was still on dial-up until about 5 years ago when I got on Comcast Still today the only options I have are dial-up, cell, Comcast even though I live in the suburbs of a major city. I know some people who keep their AOL account just to keep the same email address but don't use it for anything else.
  19. spencer

    spencer TS Addict Posts: 202   +22

    When I was little I had aol dialup, it took 10 mins to load a tourettes guy video and wed watch it ten times.
    When I first got Broadband I thought it was the best thing ever.
  20. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    I have always wondered about that "DLS only works within 3 miles of a switch". I live in Montana, and as far as I know (with the exception of our 2 or 3 largest "cities") the USDA counts all of Montana as a Rural area (found this out when doing a USDA Rural housing loan). And I know people 12+ miles from town that can get decent DSL service. Electricity only extends a few house's past my bosses, yet he can get decent DSL service. My buddy lives in an area where a small house lot is 5acres and he can get decent DSL service. I don't see where they are hiding these switches at....
    Pretty much everyone I know who has a phone line run to their house, can get some form of DSL.
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    ^ Perhaps you just have an ambitious ISP. No broadband (outside of satellite) is available between Richland Missouri and Interstate 44 on MO-133, that is a 9 mile stretch. I-44 to Richland on MO-7 is a 7 mile stretch and DSL is available there. I don't think any of the roads out of Richland (pop. 2000) other than MO-7 to I-44 have broadband access.

    Actually, I bet the state of Montana provided some great financial incentive for the ISPs to provide more DSL access than the state of Missouri does.
  22. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    The main ISP here for DSL is CenturyTel/CenturyLink. And I guess over in eastern Montana there are a few areas where you have to use either satellite or cell service to get internet, but not many of them.

    And you may be right - Montana my provide some incentives to get ISP to extend DSL. I wonder how big those DSL switch/relay things are? I still want to know here they are hiding them. Several area's that have DSL would need a lot of them to connect all the houses. If you are just going by the road from the city limits you would need 4-5 DSL switches just to get it to my buddies house if you need them every 3 miles.

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