The small city where I live, did not yet have a local access number for AOL, Compuserve, Prodigy, or a local Internet provider until somewhere later on in the late 1990s. I was told that our local calling area was too small to bother providing us with a local access number.
Later on in the 1990s, it seemed like we must have one one of the last places in Arizona to not have a local Internet provider, or access to AOL, Compuserve, or Prodigy. We did at least have several local computer bulletin boards that I could try out instead.
When Internet access did finally arrive several years later, the telephone lines in our neighborhood were not good enough for 28.8k. Most of the time, the modem would connect at 26.4k, and occasionally just at 24k. I am not sure what year 56k modems became available, but when the did, they would only connect at 26.4k here.
In the late 1990s and beyond, internal modems would only stay connected for a few minutes at a time on the telephone companies old local telephone lines that connected to where I live. Fortunately, I soon discovered that external modems would stay connected just fine.
It was not until fairly recently, like probably about 2007, when DSL finally became available where I live. I did not have cable either (and still don't). It was probably only about 5 years ago, that I was still only able to connect to the Internet at 26.4k.