I finally did it. I've been meaning to look into a deal offered by my ISP to people who purchase a computer through Dell- by the time I did so, the price for broadband had come down to what I'm paying now for dial-up. The download limit is way in excess of my usage over the last three months - 300meg whereas I've been using an average of 220 including uploads - connection fee waived, and a free modem if you sign up for 24 months. I didn't mind doing that, although I am aware that prices could come down over the next two years and I'll be stuck paying the higher rate. But as I've paid $24.95 per month for the last 18 months for dial-up, I won't be complaining. I can upgrade to a higher plan at any time for free, but if I want to cancel I have to pay out the remainder of the contract.
Now I just have to wait for everything to arrive. Patience is not my strong suit! And I'll probably have to get assistance from ezekiel . (begs nicely).