People still use dial-up?

Although called dial-up, a dial up connection is actually calls out through your computer, not a rotary phone. When FRII started in 1995, all of our customers were dial-up users. There was no broadband. And we still have many customers on dial-up.

Inspired by Verizon's acquisition of AOL, CNET recently questioned why anyone would still be on dial-up. The answer isn't that difficult.

Some of our customers live in areas that cable and broadband don't reach -- and building the infrastructure to get there can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Some of our customers only get online to access email. Usually these are older folks who spend their time on things other than the the Internet.

And one or two just love the idea of having a hardline to the Internet, "just in case." They may also have a faster connection, but keep the dialup as a backup.

steam train from 1920 rushing by

steam trains ushered a romantic sense of expectation and the idea that anything could happen. The sound of a dial-up modem did the same thing.

Personally, I'm nostalgic for dial-up, but wouldn't want to actually use it again. It was the way I first got online, back when we dialed up to local nets, not the Internet. I loved the sound of my modem connecting - the "handshake." For me, it had the same romance of the train whistle -- a promise of new places and new people, a sense that anything could happen. It was a way to reach the future.

But that future has come and past, and now we zip by much faster, with speeds up to 10 Gig for business Internet by FRII. It's amazing how far we've come.

1. While we don't currently offer residential Internet as a service, we do support it for our customers who have it.