AOL has finally announced its broadband pricing structure. But at £34.99 a month it doesn't compare that favourably with the competition.

Competitors BT openworld and Freeserve offer broadband packages for £29.99 a month. A spokesperson for AOL justified its higher monthly charge by pointing out the lower cost of initial installation: "You have to compare like for like. We have a lower up-front cost of just £25 for a modem."

This is an introductory offer price and will rise to £85 on 15 July. However, this is cheaper than Freeserve which charges £149.99. BT Openworld is currently offering a special price of £85. This is due to rise to £150 from 31 August.

AOL believes that a low installation cost will encourage more users to sign up for broadband. In its research it found that "People felt that a high up-front cost was a significant barrier [to signing up for broadband]".

The company also believes that by paying extra you get added value: "AOL is a premium service, offering services over and above the competitors, including unique content, free support, unmetered dial-up access and parental controls."

AOL Broadband is only open to existing members, although you can sign up for a free trial of AOL's dial-up service and apply for broadband immediately.

For more information on broadband and links to all the major providers click here to see PC Advisor's online guide.