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Time Warner Offers Free AOL To Cable Users

Time Warner Offers Free AOL To Cable Users

In a move that can potentially add 3 million more AOL subscribers, Time Warner said it will give free AOL service to its high-speed broadband subscribers. AOL currently serves about 23 million subscribers and about 3 million of these customers fall within a cable territory run by Time Warner.

AOL will ask those dial-up subscribers who fall within Time Warner's cable jurisdiction, to trade up to Time Warner Cable's Road Runner high-speed service. Road Runner will now offer AOL's menu of exclusive programming, such as music and videos, as a free add-on. Time Warner hopes this will be enough of an incentive for AOL dial-up subscribers to upgrade.

Currently, high-speed Internet subscribers pay an additional $14.95 for AOL's broadband programming on top of the monthly fee charged by the cable or telephone company. No price has been set for AOL dial-up subscribers who switch to high-speed Web access. It is expected to be somewhere between the $23.90 AOL charges premium dial-up customers and the $44.95 that Time Warner Cable charges high speed data subscribers.

For the past few years AOL has seen its subscriber base dwindle to cheaper competitors such as Juno and EarthLink and high speed services such as Road Runner and services from other cable and telephone companies. The resurgence in the online advertising market, however, makes right now a good time to act. AOL CEO, Jonathan Miller, said, "When I came in 2002, we weren't doing so well in advertising. If we had tried to do that back then, we wouldn't be here today."

AOL, for its part, will bolster its presence in the high- speed market at a time when its dial-up subscribers are dwindling and provide a larger audience base, which would appeal to advertisers.

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ITSG News Desk trawls the world's news sources for stories and updates on IT solutions that deliver ROI by reducing costs and/or cutting time-to-market, as well as other products and services that can produce bottom-line gains for enterprises.

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