British Telecom, one of the biggest telephone and internet service providers in the UK, have taken the step of removing its dial-up service, with the reasoning that only a “tiny number” of its customers use that specific service.
As broadband becomes increasingly popular, very few services now offer dial-up internet, leaving those living in rural and secluded areas with very few options should they not be in a position to install broadband internet.
Rural customers left out in the cold
BT revealed with the shut-down that approximately 1,000 customers would be left with no other internet options as they would be unable to move to broadband given the remote locations of their homes and the inability for their phone lines to support broadband.
A spokesperson spoke to the BBC about those who would lose out from the closure of the service, saying: “They will be too far from the telephone exchange to get any meaningful broadband. The distance means that the broadband signal degrades.”
Sebastian Lahtinen from Think Broadband said: “It’s a statement of how mainstream broadband services have become, with entry-level broadband being cheaper than the dial-up plans BT is closing down.”
Dial-up internet connections were once the most common form of internet connection, when broadband was once too expensive for the vast majority of British households. Home access to the internet has become massively widespread in recent years.
The Daily Mail reported 80% of households in Britain have internet access, whilst 93% of those with internet access used a fixed broadband connection. The remaining 5.2 million households without internet access claimed they “did not need it”, with 54% citing that as a reason.
For those who would like to continue with internet access after the closure, there are several options. Though customers will continue to pay higher prices for dial-up compared to the now relatively cheaper broadband prices.
Alternatively, there is advice from Andrew Walwyn, the CEO of EuropaSat: “For five years we’ve been trying hard to reach the consumers still subject to the drudgery of dial-up, to show them that satellite broadband is the perfect alternative if they can’t get broadband over wires.
“The feedback we’ve had from those we’ve spoken to so far is that they simply didn’t realise that the satellite alternative existed or how fast modern satellite internet solutions are.
“Clearly we want to reach out to these people now BT has decided to abandon the dial-up alternative to let them know we’re here. With so many aspects of modern life dependant on a fast broadband connection, it’s vital that every home and business understands their options”, he said.