I'm a dial-up luddite

The other day I was reading this New York Times article (sign-up required to read) via AvantGo about how lots of people are still using dial-up to get online and are happy about it.

I'm one of them. I'm a pokey slow dial-up user and very content to remain that way.

All my friends with broadband say I should switch, and don't know why I haven't yet considering I'm such a computer geek. I tell them it's because I'm just cheap. No technical reasons at all. I'm just too cheap to pay for broadband.

Currently, I have dial-up through Earthlink, although not exactly by choice. First I was a Netcom subscriber, but they got bought out by Mindspring. Then Earthlink bought Mindspring/Netcom. So I'm a part of the Earthlink horde.

Cable broadband here comes from Comcast. Last time I checked, with Comcast, cable broadband was $40/month, but you have to subscribe to the premium cable package to get it, which would add an extra $10 (not including the extra "fees") to my cable bill on top of my current cable package, plus broadband costs. Otherwise it's $50/month.

DSL broadband here comes from BellSouth. Last time I checked, DSL was about $30/month, but you have to get the BellSouth CompleteChoice package which includes a bunch of services that I don't need, like call forwarding, call display and the like. That adds about another $10 to the phone bill on top of what I already pay, plus broadband costs. Without the CompleteChoice package, DSL is $40/month or something like that. I barely use my land line phone anyway and we've all but stopped answering it because the only calls we get are usually from telemarketers.

Either way, my cable bill ends up going up about $50/month plus "fees" or my phone bill goes up about $40/month plus "fees". Take out the $22/month I currently pay for dialup and the net increase is $28 and $18 for cable and DSL respectively plus "fees".

Is it worth it? Maybe. Do I need it? I don't think so, at least not yet. If I need to download something big, I'll do it at work and sneakernet it back home. Plus tying up the phone line keeps me from being annoyed by telemarketers. And on the rare occasions it actually is someone looking for me or my wife, they can just leave a message on the voice mail. I always check for messages after I get online anyway, so they usually never have to wait very long.

I suppose the other thing that keeps me from switching is inertia. I like my email address. I've had it for a while now and I don't want to change it. Changing it would only be a minor inconvenience, but still.

So go ahead, call me a luddite, or whatever. I'm quite happy with my pokey dial-up and have no desire to change at the moment.