3.5 Million People Are Still Using AOL Dialup (!!!)S

EEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRNDguzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzdungahdungahdungahhhhhhh. That sound you hear isn't a 56k modem, it's the sound of my brain collapsing upon itself as I read AOL not only has 3.5 million dialup users, but added 200,000 since last year. How can this be?

It can be because there are still large swaths of our country without broadband—mostly rural areas—and these people don't have any choice. That's why we lag behind much of the developed world when it comes to broadband penetration. The other reason, as Dan Frommer points out, is that many AOL subscribers probably don't realize they're still paying for the service. This must be a slightly (very slightly) reassuring scrap of foundation for AOL to rest its bloodied knees on: secluded farmland and ignorance. So, shhh! Don't tell anyone! [SplatF]

Note: I should clarify my point about added customers. AOL lost 630,000 dialup users overall, but 200,000 new customers still signed up. Which is shocking on its own.

Original photo: Jose Gil/Shutterstock