Michelle Reed

News

Fri, 26 Jun, 2015

Telstra to cut off 150,000 internet users

Telstra to cut off 150,000 internet users

In a bid to cut costs, Telstra has announced their plan to cut off internet services to dial-up customers in December.

Around 150,000 Australians still have dial-up internet (remember the old whirring static noise as it connected?), especially in rural areas.

For many users, it’s been a matter of using what works. In some remote areas, the outdated dial-up system is the only option due to poor connections.

Luckily, when Telstra retires the dial-up service, now 25 years old, 97 per cent of Aussies will be able to access ADSL internet at home, and on mobiles, laptops and tablets.

Bill Birtles, co-founder of NetConnect Communications, which was one of the first Regional Internet Service Providers in Australia, told Business Insider that the unreliable broadband connections meant some customers had no option but to use dial-up internet over their phone lines.

“I think that in regional and rural areas there’s very much a case of people who will hang onto technologies that are trusted and reliable for as long as they can before they move to anything else, unless it is proven that they work reliably,” he said.

“So in the transition between dial-up and ADSL we did find that there was a little bit of resistance from moving from what they knew to something that was different”.

For many customers, dial-up simply can’t handle the download sizes they now come to see as standard. For instance a dial-up internet service would struggle with a website such as Facebook with so many photos, let alone trying to play a video on YouTube. Compare that to the speed of ADSL2+ which can download a video in a matter of minutes.

As the service comes to an end Telstra will offer alternative options for its customers. At the same time, iiNet has said it will still offer dial-up connections to customers that require it.

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