With ADSL lines increasing to 8MB in the US and Europe it is easy to forget that many Russian users still access the internet using a dial up connection. However research carried out this month by the ROMIR group has noted that Ethernet access has over taken dial-up modem access this year for the first time.
In quarter IV 2005 majority of Internet-surfers used either Ethernet or dial-up – 39% and 30% respectively. And the main share of those (62%) using Internet once a week/several times a week do it via dial-up. Daily Internet-users as a rule make use of Ethernet (40%) or ADSL telephone line (24%).
It is clear from this report that even with these changes, web design and access must still take account of dial-up connection speeds in order to tap large sectors of the Russian market.
Personally though, I believe reports of the demise of the dial-up to be a little premature. Computer sales have soured in recent years in Russia; fuelled by low prices and a better economy but more importantly by the computerisation of the education system. As with many countries, it is now the standard here for university and high school work to be submitted in printed format.
Many of these computers are not connected to the internet, either by choice, financial reasons or lack of access. For example communal houses often share one telephone between six flats (rooms). It would not be practical or socially acceptable for one user to dominate that resource. Unless broadband prices drop considerably here in Russia, the cheap dial-up connection may still be the first step on the ladder for many users.
Source: Romir Monitoring