Not completely satisfied with your Dial up Internet connection? A common misconception that Broadband Internet is considerably more expensive than Dial up is actually quite far from the truth. In comparison to Broadband, Dial-up is not much cheaper at all. When you take the many different pro’s & con’s of both Internet access types into consideration, you might then be inclined to think that Broadband is in fact a far better option regardless of price.
Rising Trends (Statistics speak louder than words)
Over the past several years, Broadband Internet Access has become ‘the norm’ for the majority of Australian Internet subscribers (especially ADSL). It’s been quite astonishing really, to see how much of a swing has taken place among Internet access types, as a preference, since 2004.
Toward the end of September back in 2002, more than 4.6 Million Aussie subscribers were accessing the Internet. This figure, broken down, translates into 4.2 Million (92%) using Dial-up Internet access technology, while only 350,000 (8%) were utilizing permanent non Dial-up (Broadband) connections. Two years later (Sept 2004) this figure rose to 5.7 Million in total. This was comprised of 4.4 Million (77%) on Dial-up, and 1.3 Million (23%) on non Dial-up technologies. This swing in trends rapidly continued toward early 2007, and according to the latest issue of ABS statistics (March 2007) – 4.34 Million Aussies were accessing the net using non Dial-up technology while only 2.09 Million remained on Dial-up.
What a huge reversal we’ve seen among Internet Access type trends over the past 18 months -2 years in Australia! Broadband has now actually replaced Dial up as the dominant Internet Access type in Australia with approximately 2 out of every 3 Internet subscribers opting for non Dial-up means. DSL (ADSL) technology has led the way with more than 3.36 Million subscribers accessing the Internet on this popular type.
Myths on Broadband Expenses
For most Australians (in relative terms), Broadband Internet was an expensive luxury many years ago, there’s no doubting that. Currently, however, unless you’re residing in a remote region of our vast country that’s reachable only by satellite technology, you shouldn’t have to spend big bucks on Broadband. Let’s take a look at some fundamental points when comparing pricing differences between the following two hypothetical popular plans.
Monthly Fee $15-20 ($30+ inc. calls) 40 – $50
Usage Limit Unlimited 5 – 10GB
Connection Speed 56k 512/128k – 1500/256k
Ongoing Fees Dial-up Ph. Calls N/A (shaped excess)
Set up/installation Fee Modem/Conn Modem/Conn
Here is a comparison based on the breakdown of the two Plans.
Usually, Broadband would be more expensive than Dial-up to set up, however taking advantage of the many deals and special offers that are currently available, set up fees could be waived entirely.
20-30c phone calls apply for every time a Dial-up subscriber dials into the Internet. Some Providers often disconnect your session after a 4 or 5 hour block. We could assume that the average Dial-up users would make 30-40 calls per month for Internet purposes (6 -$12). Broadband on the other hand has zero ongoing fees unless you join a Provider who only gives you the option of being charged for excess data usage. Otherwise users are shaped and speeds are generally slowed. Popular Plans suggest that most Broadband subscribers choose the shaped option over charged.
512 & 1500k speeds are approximately 9 & 26 times faster than Dial-up respectively. In relative terms, this can equate into a 5MB file (e.g. 1 song) taking 30 secs to download on 1500k connection, whereas it would take at least 12 mins on Dial-up. No guesses to who comes out second best with connection speed.
Dial-up appears to have the edge with unlimited usage allowance. But when you take a closer inspection and do the calculations in conjunction to a 10GB limit, Dial-up is grossly behind. E.g. What you could download using a 1500k connection in 3-4 hours would take you around 100+hours on Dial-up. That’s almost 4 continuous days straight!
Let’s break it down even further. Let’s take away all Dial-up and Broadband start up prices. Now deduct any additional Broadband charges for extra data usage and base the Dial-up v Broadband equation on Monthly costs and convenience only. Yes, that’s right, convenience! Only the individual can put a price on convenience. I can provide statistics, facts and running costs, yet I cannot gauge how important convenience is to the individual. That’s up to you! This is what we are left with….
On one hand you have Dial-up which is generally slightly cheaper overall (E.g. Calls + Monthly Fee = $25-35). On the other, we have a close Broadband equivalent – around $40-50. That’s $15-25 per month difference. Pricing does appear to favor Dial-up, but it’s not much and you might need to work in your convenience factor.
So who wins?
If it comes down to the $, it’s Dial-up (just). If it comes down to the $ + convenience, it’s definitely Broadband. But hang on a sec, there’s more! As like most forms of technology, it changes, and so does that of the Internet revolution and what we use it for. Broadband Internet has the potential to change the course of communication, automation and entertainment in our lives forever. Websites, Media, Files, Picture, Movies and Songs (to name a few) are all now being optimized to enhance quality, enjoyment and convenience for the user. This process also usually requires bigger file sizes and or new technology, thus faster Broadband Internet in which to view and receive it.
Dial-up Internet is quickly becoming a superseded product, and unusable at that. Just like our 1 and 2 cent coins have been eradicated from circulation, so too will 56k Dial-up. It will soon become obsolete and a relic of our past. Most Broadband Providers are aware of the recent mind blowing statistics and along with new Broadband technology, are even choosing to remove the slower Broadband products such as 256/64k connections out of their list.
The future is Broadband; however, if you’re happy with the price you pay for Dial-up, the inconveniences and limitations along with the inability to simultaneously access your home phone, then by all means stay with Dial-up. As for those of you who are not satisfied with Dial-up and are seeking faster instantaneous Internet, new forms of entertainment and convenience, not too mention the ability of accessing and surfing regular contemporary website & features…. Welcome to the world of Broadband Internet! J
The Broadband guide Team
Reference to statistical information in ‘Rising Trends’ was obtained from ABS ‘Internet Activity’ records. All other examples and references are the opinion/s of the author only.