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AOL salutes BT flat rate – sort of

Still double US costs, ISP uncharitably points out

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AOL Europe gave a cautious welcome to BT's announcement today that it is introducing flat-rate tariffs to the net, but warned that the proposed cost is still too high. It claimed today's offer of £34.99 for 24/7 unmetered access was almost double the cost of Internet telephone access in the US.

"While it is gratifying to see that BT have at last accepted the logic of what we at AOL have been saying for many months now, we're disappointed by the high costs proposed," said Andreas Schmidt, President and CEO of AOL Europe. "UK consumers will have to pay almost twice the monthly cost paid by their equivalents in the US in order to 'stop the clock' of per-minute metered telephone charges. There is no doubt in our mind that prices for consumers have to come down further in order not to create a 'digital divide' in society."

AOL's lukewarm response echoes that already expressed by the Campaign for Unmetered Communications (CUT) which has done so much to galvanise industry-wide support for flat-rate dial-up Net access in Britain. ®

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