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AOL UK pulls unmetered dial-up Net access

Some telcos won't play ball

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AOL UK is to cease offering unmetered dial-up Net access to up to 30,000 customers because their telcos don't support unmetered Internet services.

From November 9 all customers who don't use BT, Telewest or NTL as their phone provider will be switched to a new metered price plan called AOL 30 HOUR, which will provide 30 hours of online time for £15.99 a month.

Anyone exceeding this monthly limit will be charged 1p a minute for their extra time online.

Those telcos affected by this change include Kingston Communications, Telewest Eurobell, Jersey Telecom, Guernsey Telecoms, Manx Telecom and WightCable.

It's understood that some of the telcos do provide a wholesale unmetered product but that it is simply too expensive.

In an email AOL UK explained: "In the near future we will only be able to offer our AOL FLAT RATE price plan to members who access the AOL service using a line provided by BT, NTL or Telewest (excluding Telewest Eurobell customers). This is necessary because we require an underlying unmetered connection from your telephone company in order to offer you a service on a flat-rate basis.

"Unlike telephone companies serving the vast majority of our members, and despite continued lobbying, the unmetered connection currently offered to us by the telephone provider you have selected to access AOL is not sustainable."

A spokesman for AOL UK said that if these telcos offered a fair and sustainable wholesale unmetered package then it would offer flat rate services to these customers again. ®

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