ergophobe - 6:18 pm on Feb 26, 2010 (gmt 0)
but the local (inept) telephone company finally rolled out DSL without notifying anyone that it was available.
We have the opposite problem. The phone comany is always calling and saying it's available and trying to get us signed up. We thought that if we kept signing up and having our service immediately cancelled when they realized they couldn't actually provide it, they might finally actually get us wired up.
But after receiving and sending the equipment back a couple of times, that got old and after enough people did it, they finally took us out of the database.
I don't think a 256kpbs connection should be allowed to be sold as "high speed" or "broadband"
Especially when it's satellite internet. Because of the latency, you get killed on pages with lots of objects. God forbid it's an https page.
And of course, any real-time technology is off-limits (i.e. skype, streaming).
And finally, the Fair Access Policy limits people to roughly 200MB/day (Hughes) or 7.5GB/mo = 300MB/day for Wildblue).
So though sold and classified as broadband, it's a completely different animal than DSL.
I would imagine that a high proportion of the non-broadband users don't use the Internet at all.
I' sure that's true, but lately I'm thinking it's not as high a number as it used to be. We have neighbors who are lawyers, engineers, waiters and bussers, truck drivers and retired truck drivers (i.e. fairly wide professional spectrum) and neighbors from their 20s to those who are well into their 80s. They are all very active internet users. Until about two years ago they were all on dialup. In the past couple of years, about 10-15 out of 130 households have gotten satellite.
a while since I've seen a dialup connection in western and northern Europe
As I mentioned in the other thread, western and northern Europe generally have much much higher population densities than America. I've spent a fair bit of time living and climbing in the Alps, and you're rarely as far from "civilization" in the deepest Alps as you are in just a typical rural area in the States.
Our area has about 25 full-time households and would require perhaps 25-30 miles of new wire to be run to get from an existing DSL CO to us (now that I think of it, it could be 50 miles). Ditto for cable television. There's no way the phone company can pay off that investment.
And we're in densely populated California. If you are looking at places like Montanna, North Dakota, etc, the challenge is even greater.
People are slow to change and when money is tight they don't want a bigger bill.
We have two residences, 17 miles apart. DSL at one, not at the other (and the reason I said 25-50 miles of cable is because those 17 miles are off-limits for running new cable and that's the end of the line and would likely not have the capacity in the system).
We pay $25/mo for DSL
Dialup in our area costs $17-$19.95 per month. Many people have an extra phone line for their internet. So I don't think price is the issue for any of them. If DSL were available, every single neighbor I have talked to says they would sign up. I could sign up 25 households tomorrow. But the phone company has no interest.
was a given a grant
And by the way, the California carriers all refused to take the millions in grants from the Obama admin to wire rural areas. They said they had no interest in doing so and if they want to, they will, grant or no.
not going to be big online shoppers
Au contraire my friend. To add to buckworks comments, see the recent comments based on hard data in the other thread. Dialup users have very high conversion [webmasterworld.com].
As I mentioned there, we are 2 hours from the nearest Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, bookstore, etc etc. People here buy everything online if they can. The UPS driver knows every single person in our village by name and face, where you live and where you work. If you're out and about and he sees you, he'll flag you down and hand you your Amazon package. If he sees me in town and the weather's bad, he'll say "I have a package. Do you want it now, or do you want me to put it inside the storage area around the back of the house?"