Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/02/aol_free_email/

AOL US offers free email

Email for free? Gadzooks!

By John Oates

Posted in Networks, 2nd August 2006 15:11 GMT

AOL in the US is to offer free email addresses.

But the annouoncement won't have an impact in the UK - where AOL is still up for sale. You can already get an email address ending @aol.co.uk for free from their portal.

Some US subscribers get internet access through someone else, like a cable company, but still pay AOL for other services like email or parental controls. But now ex-AOL customers, or soon to be ex, will be able to keep their AOL email addresses.

The company has altered its portal to provide more free content in order to increase visitor numbers and page impressions.

AOL will offer email, its own IM, and a local phone number for unlimited incoming calls. It will stop marketing its dial-up service.

Presumably the moves are an attempt to move AOL away from straight access business into more of a web player.

More announcements are expected shortly - today is Time Warner's results day. It made a $1bn profit in the quarter on revenues of $10.7bn. AOL saw subscription revenue fall but this was made up for by increased revenue from adverts.

Today's other "free as in not" offer comes from "Leading ISP Namesco". This "free" offer costs £60 to connect to and will cost you £10.95 a month after the first year which is "free". For that you get a 516Kb connection capped after 2GB of downloads a month.

Namesco is also giving away an Aston Martin DB9 to celebrate its tenth birthday. More details here.