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Cyberstrike gets lift from AOL

World’s No 1 ISP joins forces with toll-free action group

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AOL UK is using its considerable clout to promote Sunday's pan-European cyberstrike although it is stopping short of urging its members to take part in the militant action. The UK arm of the world's biggest service provider has also confirmed it has gained corporate membership of the Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications -- a user-based group that lobbies for fairer telecomms charges. In an open letter to its members published last night under the heading "Say yes to free Internet phone calls" president and MD, David Phillips spoke of AOL's commitment to toll-free access to the Internet. He also publicly acknowledged AOL's relationship with CUT, which is co-ordinating the strike action in the UK. Phillips went on to suggest that AOL members write to politicians to lobby support for an overhaul of the telecomms pricing structure. "On Sunday, all telephone users in the 15 countries are being asked to unplug their phones for 24 hours and Internet users asked to disconnect their modems," wrote Phillips. "One of the main aims of the campaign is to see the introduction of flat-rate charges for local calls, meaning an end to clock watching and unexpected phone bills. "A Europe-wide telecommunications boycott is a high profile way of generating awareness," he said without directly asking people to take part. The Register has learnt that two representatives of AOL UK met CUT to hold talks about how the two organisations join forces in their could pursuit of toll-free Net access. One source close to the AOL/CUT relationship said the two groups weren't exactly jumping into bed together, but they were holding hands. ®

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