AOL has finally announced that it will offer UK internet users a flat-rate unmetered internet service, ending months of speculation.
AOL UK will initially offer the service, priced at £14.99 per month, to its existing members only, with preference depending on the length of time users have been with the ISP.
The AOL flat-rate service will be based on BT's wholesale Flat Rate Internet Access Call Origination (Friaco) tariff. The subscription fee includes all internet telephone costs as well as unlimited freephone member support.
Karen Thomson, managing director of AOL UK, said: "We promised more than a year ago that we would fight to 'stop the clock' of metered internet telephone costs charged by the minute. AOL Flat rate reflects a fair, responsible and realistic approach to unmetered access."
AOL's long-standing customers will immediately be able to switch to unmetered access, effective from their next monthly billing date. Users who have joined AOL more recently will follow in "subsequent weeks". When members become eligible for the service, a message will pop up on their screen when they sign in.
A free trial of the service will be offered to customers who join AOL from today. Customers will waived the first-month subscription fee and allowed 24 hours of free use. After the trial, users will need to use an off-peak service, priced at £9.99 per month plus 1p per minute, until the AOL capacity is increased.
AOL anticipates making the service available to all UK consumers "as soon as possible as telecommunications providers accelerate the rapid build-out of network access across the UK".
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