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Virtual Internet Service Provider Program

Thinking Of Becoming A VISP?

Interesting Things To Consider
Fact vs. Fiction

The dial-up market is shrinking as access subscribers move to broadband access. Therefore a virtual ISP or vISP must offer broadband to succeed. Fact or fiction?

Most virtual ISP or vISP programs are built around dial-up access. If the demand for dial-up access is truly shrinking, you should not invest time, money and resources in a declining market. However the good news is that this myth is not based up fact. Although it is true that every day the broadband market grows, it is also a fact that the number of subscribers using dial-up also increases every day. Other than one major disadvantage (speed), dial-up offers many advantages over broadband. Dial-up is portable while broadband is not. As the growth in the laptop/notebook market continues to grow, portability becomes a higher priority. As a result, many broadband subscribers also have a dial-up account so they have access when they travel. Dial-up is available everywhere while availability is limited for broadband. Dial-up costs less than broadband. Dial-up can be automatically provisioned in seconds while broadband is a manual process and can take up to six weeks to provision. During the manual provisioning process many things can go wrong that create unhappy customers. Then there is the issue of upfront modem costs ($100+) to the vISP. It is difficult to charge the consumer and impossible to absorb this cost. Most important is that when competitively priced, broadband margins are less than half of dial-up margins. Nonetheless, the speed of standard dial-up is a disadvantage.

However, this is quickly changing. By the end of 2005, dial-up modems will be available that provide speed equal to cable access (for example, see Although it may take awhile for demand to lower the cost to the point that new PCs are sold with this technology installed, it will happen just as we have seen modems improve from 3k to 56k v.92. In the meantime, web accelerators (i.e. - pronounced pure speed) are gaining great popularity due to the fact that they can provide surfing and email speeds of near the same as DSL (5x standard dial-up speeds)! This eliminates the one disadvantage of dial-up while retaining the many advantages - it offers portable DSL. Dial-up has a great future for residential applications! Most of the migration to broadband has been the commercial sector and today still 80% of residential users still have a dial-up account.

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