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AOL Moves Towards Flat-Rate Pricing in the UK

AOL UK has taken a major step towards flat-rate pricing with its "AOL Off-Peak All The Time" plan, available from Tuesday.

The plan will enable UK families to go online at any time of the day or night at a single, low-cost rate.

During the day, when other users are paying a typically high rate for the telephone to remained online (up to 4 pence per minute), AOL users will be paying just 1 penny per minute. It is "the lowest ever for daytime use," says AOL UK.

"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," said Karen Thomson, managing director of AOL UK.

"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."

AOL will be supporting its new pricing plan with a massive advertising campaign, starting Tuesday. The campaign will include national television, print and cinema advertising, and is scheduled to run to the end of the year.

As part of the campaign, AOL is offering new users an absolutely free Internet trial -- the first of its kind in the UK -- with 10 hours usage and no subscription or telephone access charges.

"We are able to make this attractive offer because our scale gave us the opportunity to negotiate favourable agreements with our telecom providers - savings which we are passing on to our members," said Karen Thomson.

In the U.S., flat-rate pricing was chiefly responsible for turning the Internet into a mass market phenomenon. AOL users in the UK currently spend just 17 minutes a day online.



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