AOL Drops Broadband Service in US

With broadband price cuts from telephone operators and ISPs in the US, packaging a DSL service with access to AOL services was rapidly becoming uneconomic for the content giant.

America Online found that it couldn’t offer a price-competitive service: being so far down the value chain meant that the subscription cost of AOL broadband product was often far higher than that of competitors, once subleasing prices had been piled on top.

As the numbers of dial-up subscribers dwindle, AOL is moving towards providing content to users who supply their own access, thus concentrating on their core competencies and not wasting resources trying to be a telco. The market seems to be segregating out a bit: last year, Microsoft also dropped DSL access plans. How long will it be before companies which are more geared to providing access to the internet, such as BT, drop their content offerings?

Broadband without the bandwidth

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?