Are you using dial-up Internet to read this article? According to an in-depth report that looks at the demographics of individuals who still utilize it, approximately three percent of Canadians use dial-up.
Over the past few years, Internet speed has increased dramatically. What used to take a few minutes to load, like an online video or a website with a lot of information on it, can now load instantly. Although the cost of high-speed Internet from Rogers or Bell is quite expensive, most Canadians order this form of Internet.
The Canadian Press reported Monday of the number of Canadians who are still using the antiquated form of accessing the Internet: dial-up. According to various estimates from different research studies, there are between 250,000 and 370,000 dial-up customers in Canada – the largest figures mostly come from rural communities because it is the only way to access the Internet in those regions.
Many organizations are popping up that are providing many Canadians with efficient Internet access at a low cost or for free, both dial-up and high-speed. One of these groups is National Capital FreeNet, a non-for-profit and non-commercial entity that is supported by donations and gives approximately 3,600 individuals access to the web.
During a town hall meeting last year by former New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, he said that more Canadians need to have access to broadband Internet. “We can build a railroad in this country to bring us together; we can build broadband to make sure everyone has access to it.”
With many upgrades to websites – because developers do not cater anymore to 56k modem users – dial-up customers have to wait a long time to watch a YouTube video, visit a sports team’s website or even get onto Yahoo. They wouldn’t have a difficult time browsing The Drudge Report, though, because it’s just links of text and a few images.
“A lot of people who were making due with dial-up are starting to find it’s getting more and more difficult to use, so much of the content on the Internet is so rich and even though you think you’re looking at a simple web page, quite often there’s a lot of baggage behind it,” said Matthew Suffidy, a user of National Capital FreeNet, in an interview with the news outlet, who added that he noticed the Internet getting slower on dial-up about a decade ago.
The cost of dial-up remains ranges in price from company to company (as low as $2.95 per month for unlimited access), while high-speed Internet can cost upwards of $100 per month (HST is added to Internet services now in Ontario).
Do you still use dial-up and if so, would you ever upgrade?