The Andrew Vanacore of the AP reports that America's sour economy might provide an opportunity for otherwise dying dial-up Internet providers. Vanacore states:
Pew [Internet & American Life Project] estimates the average monthly bill for broadband users came to $34.50 in 2008. That means for the year, a NetZero subscriber [who pays $9.95 a month] would save nearly $300.What Vanacore misses, though, is that we've gotten used to the higher connection speeds of broadband and all of the multimedia benefits they bring. Many people cannot imagine living without music or video downloads or the ability to send large attachments with email—all of which effectively cease as options with dial-up. More importantly, people have gotten use to such options being available to them at home whenever they want.
I grant that to some frugality—or even a more fundamental need to eat and pay rent—might trump the need for instant-entertainment access. But then why not just get rid of Internet access altogether, use your local library's computers and high-speed access, and save the additional $120 a year? With library attendances across the nation hitting record numbers and still on the rise, I suspect that's precisely what the public is doing.