BT switches off dial-up Internet service

BT has today switched off its dial-up Internet service, stating that it is a "legacy product" that is used by a "tiny number of customers".

The vast majority of those affected will be able to switch over to broadband, which will also be cheaper the firm said.

Around 1000 of BT's current customers living in the most rural areas will not be able to switch over to broadband, however.

These will be given the option of switching over to Plusnet's dial-up service, which is also cheaper than what BT currently offers.

"No one is being left without the option of an alternative service," BT said in a statement.

It is a concern that some people in the countryside could be left without any Internet access in the future, if Plusnet and others eventually follow BT's lead and also shut down their dial-up services.

Plusnet currently offers a 'narrowband' dial-up connection for remote areas that the UK's broadband network does not reach.

According to Ofcom's latest figures, in 2010, around 800,000 people still used dial-up to get online.

"The number has now fallen so low nationally that it's quite difficult to get any accurate figures from a survey sample," an Ofcom spokesperson told the BBC.

"We think it's in the very low hundreds of thousands but we cannot be any more confident than that."