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RealTime IT News

AOL Expands Broadband Offerings

In a rush to meet the demand for broadband services, America Online Inc. has strategically aligned itself with another regional Bell operating company.

AOL and GTE Tuesday formed a long-term strategic alliance to provide asymmetrical digital subscriber line services to AOL members in 17 states. The deal gives AOL the potential to reach 65 percent of U.S. homes with DSL service.

Under the multi-year agreement, GTE will provide AOL with ADSL connectivity in parts of California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

By the end of this year, GTE anticipates that approximately 4 million ADSL loop-qualified homes may attain high-speed access through their broadband services.

In light of GTE's 17 percent price cut on DSL services last week, AOL has yet to determine pricing for their ADSL access. Although industry experts anticipate that the ADSL upgrade is expected to cost AOL members approximately $20 more each month.

Bob Pittman, AOL president and chief operating officer, said the company is dedicated to providing broadband access to AOL members nationwide.

"Our goal is to deliver on the promise of the interactive medium and help make broadband access a reality for the mass market consumer," Pittman said. "We are pleased to work with a telecommunications leader like GTE to provide ADSL technology to AOL members who want access to a high-speed feature."

John Appel, GTE president of network services, said the telecommunications provider remains equally committed to the rapid deployment of ADSL services.

"GTE and AOL have clearly demonstrated that our number-one priority is giving customers the most enjoyable Internet experience possible, and this agreement re-emphasizes that dedication. The tremendous speed and always-on access that ADSL offers will enable AOL members to surf the Net like never before."