AOL has finally bowed to competitive pressure from free Internet services by cutting its £16.95 a month subscription charge to £9.99.
Despite speculation the company would launch a new flat monthly fee that would include call charges, AOL members will continue to pay extra for phone calls.
A spokesperson for AOL UK confirmed that AOL is trialling a service that uses a toll free 0800 number, but it is only one of many different pricing structures currently being investigated.
Since the launch of Freeserve last Autumn, now with over one million users, the future of the paid for ISP has been in doubt, but AOL has been adamant that it does not want to scrap its subscription model.
AOL is confident that the reduction of nearly £7 a month will be enough to win the fight against the new crop of free ISPs.
"Consumers recognise that AOL has the brand and value that perhaps the other ISPs have to work to get," said O'Neill.
The new service will be available from 1 June to all of its 600,000 UK members and will include all the current features of the online service including chat rooms, parental control and free customer service.
Two weeks ago Tempo announced an Internet access service with free off peak phone calls, while both The Sun and Mirror newspapers have announced free Internet access services. BSkyB is to enter the foray with a service going live in June.
AOL also announced an advertising deal with eBay where the online auctioneer will appear across the AOL and Compuserve services in the UK, France and Germany. eBay will pay AOL $75 million over four years for the privilege and the two companies will launch co-branded sites in Europe later this year.
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