Latest Broadband News
BT switches off dial-up internet
Only a tiny number of BT customers are using a dial-up modem
Telecoms giant BT is turning off its dial-up internet access service today.
BT said it was taking the step because only a "tiny number" of its customers still went online using a dial-up modem.
It added that the vast majority of its 6.8 million broadband customers had switched to much faster connections.
However, a small number of people in rural areas where broadband will not work will struggle to get online after the change.
Dial-up customers were first informed about the impending closure in May and June this year, BT said, adding that most of these people would be able to migrate to a broadband service.
BT said that the shut-down meant about 1,000 people who lived in remote areas would not be able to move to broadband as their phone line was incapable of supporting the technology.
These people were likely to be living in some of the most remote parts of the UK, said Oliver Johnson, chief executive of broadband consultancy Point Topic.
"They will be too far from the telephone exchange to get any meaningful broadband. The distance means that the broadband signal degrades," he said.
Those who had to stick with dial-up would still be able to get such services from BT via its Plusnet subsidiary.
"No-one is being left without the option of an alternative service," said a BT spokesman.
Sebastian Lahtinen, from the Think Broadband news site, said the closure was a sign of the times.
"It's a statement of how mainstream broadband services have become, with entry-level broadband being cheaper than the dial-up plans BT is closing down," he said.
Dial-up, or narrowband, was the technology that most Britons used to go online before home broadband became affordable.
It involves modems sending data over lines more typically used for voice calls.
The best dial-up modems despatched data along telephone lines at speeds of up to 56 kilobits per second, although compression could be used to improve this top speed.
By contrast most broadband technologies work in the megabits-per-second range.
About 800,000 people still used dial-up in 2010, the last year for which figures were available, said an Ofcom spokesman.
"The number has now fallen so low nationally that it's quite difficult to get any accurate figures from a survey sample," he said.
"We think it's in the very low hundreds of thousands but we cannot be any more confident than that."
With the vast majority of exchanges equipped to use broadband technologies such as DSL there was little reason to stick to dial-up, he said.
And do not forget that when switching broadband, you will need a MAC code. Use our handy tool on MACcodes.co.uk to obtain your MAC code now.
How do I switch my broadband to ?
To switch your broadband supplier to you will require a MAC code - a migration authorisation code.
Our handy tool above will provide you with all the information you require to obtain your MAC code and switch internet service providers to . The process is termed broadband migration. It's quick, free and very easy to do - follow the instructions above for full details on how to obtain your MAC code and switch to .
By switching internet service providers to , you could potentially save hundreds of pounds a year... New broadband deals are available all the time and prices are getting cheaper with increased competition (just look at how many internet service providers we have listed on the left side of this page!), so if you have been with your current broadand provider for a long time, it is highly likely that there are better broadband deals available from , saving you lots of money!
There is no charge for a MAC code.
MAC codes consist of four letters, followed by between seven and nine numbers, a slash, and five alphanumeric characters (e.g. LAEM3456789/1F14T).