AOL has been given the nickname AOHell because of its invasiveness and the extreme lengths you must go to to completely remove it from your computer. They have also faced several lawsuits concerning them not letting customers go, billing them after they terminate their service, etc. In short, the former internet giant has fallen and is turning to advertising-based free software/subscriptions to stay afloat.
In regards to finding another ISP, that really depends on where they live...even providers such as Netzero/Juno (which I would not recommend) don't have phone numbers available in all regions. I've found that local providers out of regional major cities are usually the best, primarily because their userbase is smaller. Your best option may just to thumb through your local phone book.
When it comes to increasing their internet speed, there is nothing they can do. The fastest you can go with dial-up is 56K and current government regulations limit that to 53K. After that you have to take into consideration the age of the phone lines, quality of the connection, distance to the server, number of people online, etc. With that you're lucky to get to the low- to mid-40s.
My suggestion would be to contact their phone company and see if DSL is available in their area. If so they can pay around the same per month but have a connection at least four times faster than dial-up. It may not be available in the remote area but it's worth a look.
My parents have had AOL for several years now, but recently they have had numerous problems with the program (I think that they had been using 8.0, then 9.0, then 9.0 Security Ed.).
AOL would be unable to sign them on, and after spending several hours with AOL Cust. Service, they would uninstall it, and then reinstall it.
Most recently, they were unable to uninstall it, and AOL told them that their Windows XP was faulty.
I brought the computer to my place and after unistalling all AOL applications I could, I went through and manually deleted AOL files and registry values/keys. It was time-consuming and annoying -- AOL had spread itself through to many nooks and crannies of the computer.
Are their other ISP's for dial-up (they live in a remote location) that offer good service without taking over the computer? And what can my folks do to speed up their existing dial-up service?