The Dial Up ISP Wasteland

Yes, there are some parts of the continental US not yet served by DSL or cable modems. That’s why I’m looking for a dial up ISP. Nationally we’ve got AOL and Earthlink, followed by budget operators NetZero, PeoplePC, and Netscape Online. But here’s the thing, and forgive my ignorance, why do all these services suggest you need to download and install software just to dial in?

I mean, hasn’t dial up networking been a standard feature of various releases of Mac OS and Windows since 1995 or so? Why the extra “dialer”?

Anyway, my search for a bare-bones ISP lead me to FreedomList‘s ISP directory, and the list of providers offering service in New Hampshire. That’s where I found VT Rocket, which offers plans ranging from $2.90/month (for 30 hours) to $9.95/month (unlimited).