Monday, February 16, 2009

Beep-bwop-beeeeep! Dial-up gets a 2nd look in recession

You know the cost-cutting drill. You write down your monthly expenses, item by item. You scratch out the fixed costs - mortgage, car payments. You look for places to cut, but more so places to trim a little.

This one always stands out: Broadband - $35-ish.

With the bottom line in mind, more consumers are giving a dial-up Internet connection a second look, the Associated Press reports today. It's part of the quality vs. cost calculations many of us are making in the downturn.

Yes, dial-up is finger-drummingly slow, but it's adequate for basic Internet tasks such as e-mail, news surfing and shopping. Tasks such as streaming or video require more bandwith, but cost-conscious customers are weighing that luxury versus this calculation: $35 monthly for broadband vs. $10 or less for dial-up.

Make no mistake, says the AP: Only 9 percent of Americans use dial-up, which isn't likely to make a big dent in the broadband market.

"Dial-up is declining overall, but that doesn't mean it's not still a viable business," said Kevin Brand, senior vice president of product management at EarthLink Inc., which has cut its dial-up to $7.99 in an effort to woo those on tight budgets "There's still a big market out there, and during these tough times, even customers who have bundles including broadband may be looking at their bill and thinking, 'Do I really need all this?' "

Have you made a similar quality vs. cost decision - with anything on your budget? Tell us about it.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dude- where can you get broadband for $35? Let me know, because I'm dropping $50 a month with RoadRunner.

Christie said...

It would actually cost us more to switch to dial-up. We do not have a "landline." The combination of additional phone bill and the cost of dial-up would probably be more than the broadband bill we have now, not to mention a lower level of service.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to limit yourself to text based email you might be ok with dialup - but even a web site like the Charlotte Observer has enough content and advertising to choke a dialup connection. Not to mention, the first time a 'friend' sends you a bloated attachment in email, you are going to find out the real definition of SLOW.

olderbudwisor said...

I downsized my DSL from the top of the line $39.95 a month to $19.95 a month for a slower connection and barely notice the difference. For the price I can wait.

chupacabra said...

Like Christie, we don't have a land line so it would cost more to make the switch. What we have talked about is cutting out the extra cell phone features and just using them as phones and trimming back on the premium cable channels.

Anonymous said...

If you add the cost of a landline with the cost of dial up, you will have a bill larger than Roadrunner. I cannot wait until the day I stop dealing with Time Warner all together! If you don't use the internet that much and are looking to save money, use the library or get a laptop so you can go to a place that has free Wifi.

Anonymous said...

Went with a FASTER connection with TWC but the cost went DOWN. There was a package with Turbo that made the price drop even with the faster server.

Anonymous said...

Something else to keep in mind if you are using you internet for a job search I have seen some disastrous results using a dial-up to complete online applications, post resumes, etc.

Mark Rowsey said...

I would also say the same as Christie. I have Vonage. So for me, it's a push economically and a loss of quality if I had to pay a monthly fee for a phone line and then have a monthly fee for dial up.
I like the idea of going with a "lite" broadband instead of going back to the dial-up dinosaur.

Anonymous said...

Forget about dial-up vs dsl. People need to reconsider Cable TV in light of the transition to DTV. I have one of my HDTV sets hooked to an indoor antenna and I get excellent reception and the over the air subchannels to boot! With a $15 subscription to Netflix I have more than enough content to satisfy my viewing desires.

Anonymous said...

The poster at 4:45 stole my thunder. I too hooked up my 50" to inside antenna and receive a GREAT HD picture. No CNN, ESPN or other cable channels but the local stations HD picture is great. That saves me over $70.00 per month. Try this folks, you will be amazed.

Anonymous said...

Roadrunner Lite: $14.99 per month. I haven't noticed ANY difference in the speed of my connection. Check it out on Time Warner's site!

Mark Rowsey said...

I would go as far as to say try Basic Cable (Local channels and some regular cable channels) over Standard or Digital cable. You can save around $50 a month or so by just cutting that out. With so many on demand Internet TV options to watch, YouTube, Hulu, jumptv, etc, who really needs 200 cable TV stations these days?

Anonymous said...

How about this, get a neighbor or two and you could easily share your broadband connection over Wi-Fi access point? $50/60 divided three ways would not be bad?

gomez said...

post 2/16/09-5:23, what happens with the split when someone decides to move? the mover is once again internetless and the others now have an increasing bill.

Anonymous said...

You don't need a land line telephone for DSL. AT&T charges $5 a month to run a phone line with no dial tone to your house to run the DSL. We got fed up with Time Warner some time ago. We now have AT&T DSL, no land line, cell phones, and DirecTV. If you are happy with your cable, you don't need to use RoadRunner. You can get Earthlink broadband over the cable connection.

Anonymous said...

Eliminating Broadband rather than a land line is crazy! Get rid of the phone line (which you probably do not need because you have a cellphone), and if you DO need a phone sign up for Vonage or Skype or some other Voice Over IP service (Google VOIP to learn more)and get unlimited service for $15 or $25 dollars.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Cable is really not necessary if you have Broadband. You can get all your favorite shows at places like Hulu.com, and most sports are on the net. Online movie services run about $9 per month for unlimited, on-demand movie viewing.

Anonymous said...

Dial-up? No way. Here's a better idea. Ditch your land line telephone service. Use only your mobile phone. Save from $40-$60 a month...maybe more, depending on your service options. If anyone tacks on more weird charges than Time-Warner, it's AT&T.