The history of dial-up

Dial-up. I’m sure many of you can remember that glorious sound you’d hear coming from the phone. However, according to the United States Federal Communications Commission in 2013 only 3% of the American population still used dial-up internet and is now generally only used as a backup.

Dial-up internet allowed users to connect to the internet via their landline telephone. The computer would dial a server’s modem number and then connect to the internet. I remember running home from school and going straight onto AOL Messenger and having my friend say goodbye at around 5pm because his mum wanted to use the phone.

So how did it all begin? The dial-up modem was originally created for American universities in the 1980’s although due to the popularity and possibilities it offered, was then open to the public in 1992 by a company known as Pipex.

However broadband came along in the 2000’s. Seeing as this was a faster, cheaper and less restricted way of accessing the internet it soon grew to become very popular. In 2007 more than half of the homes in the UK used broadband over dial-up and by 2011 BT Broadband became the leading provider of internet within the UK.

So will dial-up ever come back? Of course not! With today’s technology of fibre optic cables and WiFi connections it would feel like going back to prehistoric times, and who wants that?


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