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Cost of UK Net access drops by 75 per cent

AOL unveils flat rate off-peak call charges

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AOL UK has cut the cost of dial-up daytime Net access to just 1p a minute in a move to establish the service as something for the whole family. The normal cost of a peak-time local rate phone call from BT is 4p a minute. The announcement comes the same day Freeserve said its users could get 10 hours of toll free calls a month in return for routing national and international calls through its telecomms partners Energis. AOL' s new 'Off-Peak All The Time' pricing plan means cost conscious Net users don't have to restrict their Net usage to those periods where the cost of dial-up Net access is reduced. And in a sideswipe at Freeserve and other subscription-free ISPs, AOL said its members will be able to make the Internet more central to their everyday lives, "without any of the hassle and hidden costs that users of self-proclaimed 'free' ISPs experience with large Internet telephone access and customer support charges." Karen Thomson, managing director of AOL UK, said: "We believe our new AOL Off-Peak All The Time pricing plan delivers exactly what UK families want: the freedom to go online day or night for the same low Internet telephone access cost. "Now, AOL is not only the easiest service to use, but we also are taking all the guesswork out of the cost of families going online, and all costs will appear on the same AOL bill. "We are able to make this attractive offer because our scale gave us the opportunity to negotiate favourable agreements with our telecomms providers -- savings which we are passing on to our members." In an attempt to recruit more members AOL UK has confirmed that its new user trial will offer 10 hours of subscription and toll-free access to the Net. ®

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