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Anyone still on dial-up?

February 03, 2015 — BarryK
"Dial-up Internet" access refers to use of an analog modem connected to a telephone line, for the purpose of establishing an Internet connection.
This is not to be confused with digital broadband connection over a telephone line. The former is an older system, with very low data transfer speeds.

My curiosity was aroused recently when someone on the Puppy Forum commented that they are still using analog dial-up Internet.

In Australia, I think it has just about died. However, in the US there are still users. Quoting from

A 2008 Pew Internet and American Life Project study states that only 10 percent of US adults still used dial-up Internet access. Reasons for retaining dial-up access include lack of infrastructure and high broadband prices. According to the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 6% used dial-up in 2010. By 2013, that number had fallen to 3%.

I was wondering whether Puppy should still be supporting dial-up. Our main dial-up-supporting-pup is Wary, which has drivers for a large range of analog "software" modems.

But, even our latest pups still support analog modem dial-up, just not the same range of drivers. Serial and USB hardware modems are supported, and some software modem drivers are still in the kernel, such as the "mwave" driver.

A reason that I am thinking about this again, is I am building "Wary64" (Quirky variant, not Puppy), very lean-and-mean, that is, designed to be as small as possible, but using a recent kernel.

To compile some of those old modem drivers, an older kernel is required, I think 3.2.x.

I could do a compile in T2 with that old kernel, but I really don't see the point anymore. Those 3%, now less, can use a hardware modem if they really need to stay stuck on analog dial-up.

If you want to contribute a thought on this, please do it at the April64 thread, coz I'm monitoring that:

Tags: linux