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.