America Online has decided to make another push into broadband. Built on top of third-party partnerships with BellSouth, Time Warner Cable, Qwest and AT&T, the company will offer high-speed access across the U.S.
AOL had limited success with this the first time around, so why is the company "giving it another go"? This Reuters article quotes Joe Redling, president of AOL access services:
"What we’ve seen from early indications is that as we’ve moved customers from dial-up to broadband, we’ve seen significant improvements in member life … It’s really a long-term play to stabilize the membership."
Despite the fact that AOL has been losing dial-up subscribers, it still has more than 20 million.
And a high-speed offering will enable AOL to have a more direct channel into broadband homes, which are characterized by more disposable income and education. It may also more effectively enable the company to sell things like its TotalTalk VoIP offering (which is, of course, directly competitive with its telco partners’ fixed line phone businesses).