A stalwart of dialup and home-broadband access, AOL is now owned in the UK by The Carphone Warehouse. It’s sold in £10- and £15-per-month subscriptions, and sometimes bundled with landline telephone calls.

Almost exclusively used by Windows users, AOL is popular for blogging, instant messaging, making Skype phone calls and listening to internet radio, with online shopping and social networking the two biggest uses.

See also: What's the best UK broadband ISP? PC Advisor's 2011 Broadband Survey report

BBC iPlayer can be a problem on AOL, but it still polls highly among users.

The 5 to 8Mbps service gets a poor report for its connection speeds, however, which presumably accounts for its lowly 78 percent satisfaction score. Another worry was that while most users stated they enjoyed unlimited downloads, we had widespread reports of unreliable connections and random disconnections, and a lack of help from customer service. It’s a sorry tale we hoped would no longer tarnish the broadband market. Connection reliability came in at just 67 percent – a very poor show.

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AOL Broadband: Specs

  • AOL account, landline phone connection
  • AOL account, landline phone connection


Given that both AOL and the other ISP that got a less-than-glowing report, Tiscali, both come under the TalkTalk/Carphone Warehouse umbrella, we're hopeful someone at head office will take a long look at these results and conclude that there's more important things than getting teenagers to prance about with sparklers in the name of marketing and entertainment. And we don't mean an 'X Factor'-style makeover.

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