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Dialup statistics

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Tuesday March 4, 2008 )

It’s been a while since I took a look at statistics relating to dialup users in the USA… and yes, they definitely still exist. Here’s where things were nearly a year ago and how they are now.

A year ago, around 19% of US users surveyed of respondents were still accessing the Internet via dialup services.

According to data provided by Nielsen and reported on Web Site Optimization, home dialup users in January 2008 made up 12.51% of active connections in that segment, which is down 0.70 percent from 13.21% in December 2007.

Looking at my own stats, it’s hard to tell. Google Analytics shows around 6% on dialup, but isn’t able to report on nearly a third of users accessing my site; so globally, the figure may not be far off the 12% either.

As for access from work, it’s quite a different story with. In January 2008, under 5% of US workers connected to the Internet with via dialup.

So is it still worth worrying about dialup users? We’re hitting “maybe” territory now. You’d need to look and when people are accessing your site mostly. For example, if it’s late in the evening USA time, then it might be worthwhile being kind to your dialup folks for a while longer.

Bear in mind too that just because the bandwidth is there, it doesn’t mean you have to try and suck it all up. I like broadband because it’s fast and while I would have been patient with a 15 second page load time in the past; not any more.

Pick up some tips on page load time optimization


7 comments for Dialup statistics
  1. Hey Michael. I work for a dial up internet company and we get a lot of new signups each day. The market is probably not going to be around for decades more, but there are a lot of broadband providers that hesitate to invest in infrastructure in more rural areas in the USA. I don’t personally use it anymore, but I wrote a loving tribute to dial up in my comment website :)

    Comment by Chad — March 4, 2008 @ 12:59 pm

  2. Ah Chad, the modem noises – such sweet memories :). It certainly built up the anticipation of getting online – nice writeup :).

    I still keep a dialup account for emergencies, and used it extensively up until a couple of years ago in rural areas. I thought I was going to wind up having to use it again in the outback recently; but our 3G networks here are really making inroads – wireless broadband is wonderful :).

    Comment by Michael Bloch — March 5, 2008 @ 4:20 am

  3. Wireless broadband will certainly be the future. It will be interesting to see where the market goes in terms of having a hardwired connection in the home vs. widespread wireless availability.

    Comment by Chad — March 6, 2008 @ 2:30 pm

  4. Michael, I’m not from US and in our country broadband just somewhat started, and their pay is kind of a bit higher than the dial ups, most people here still use dial up’s, except for those that needs access fast.. ;)

    Comment by Joy — March 7, 2008 @ 4:52 pm

  5. Broadband speed is wonderful.

    There is an added complexity for some users however, due to geographical location.

    EG many Aussies have broadband, but don’t have unlimited downloads (unless they are on an expensive plan)….and once they reach their quota for the month they are “throttled” to dialup speed.

    So unlike other countries, a LOT of people down here still have to be frugal about what they do online.

    I very regularly have to make choices….like “shall I watch this terrific instructional internet marketing video that’s 40 minutes long, or would I rather conserve my download limit and not spend the last 10 days of the month on dialup speed”?

    So even though I have broadband, I tend to still try and find information in text formats where I can, and avoid websites that deliver info in high download multimedia formats.

    Comment by Jules — March 8, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

  6. Dear Michael,
    I’m just getting started on what I think will be a wonderful journey of designing web pages.
    I am going on 70 years old and felt for a long time that there has been a hole in the market for users of slow internet connections.
    I am using the minimum amount of graphics that I can get away with and try to the best of my ability at this time to optimise everything.
    Thanks very much for all the advise on
    your site and your blog

    Comment by Peter — March 9, 2008 @ 12:36 am

  7. More power to you Peter! Love the name of your site. I think a powerful selling point for you would be to highlight the fact that you’re among the grey power brigade instead of it being a young whippersnapper like me trying to dictate to a more mature audience :).

    I think there’s still a market for dialup friendly sites too – I know of one designer who builds sites that load at <10 seconds on a 28.8k connection and he still seems to have a lot of work happening.

    Comment by Michael Bloch — March 9, 2008 @ 1:03 am

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