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AOL goes cable

ISP's broadband reach extended

AOL today extended its broadband services to cable customers, making it the first ISP to offer high-speed internet access over national telephone lines and cable networks.

The company, which already offers a choice of access methods to its narrowband customers, will now also supply its broadband services over NTL's network.

"Rolling out services on the NTL network significantly increases our reach ahead of our rivals," said Karen Thomson, chief executive of AOL. "Consumer takeup of broadband would benefit significantly from greater availability."

Offering connection speeds of 512Kbps (kilobits per second) on DSL or 600Kbps on cable, the service will be available for £27.99 per month. AOL also announced today that it would be waiving its installation and modem fees for new customers, removing upfront costs and saving them £95.

AOL estimates that these price reductions now make it cheaper than many of its competitors. Its figures show AOL's first year total costs as £335.88, compared to Freeserve's £385.87 and BT Openworld's £409.89.

About 70 percent of UK households can currently access AOL broadband via a BT telephone line; this coverage will now be extended to an extra 7.2 million households via NTL's cable network.

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