07:49 PM

AOL Plans Nationwide Broadband Expansion

Customers can sign up for the high-speed service, available through partnerships America Online has struck with other vendors, starting today.

America Online Inc. on Friday said it would soon expand its broadband network coast-to-coast through partnerships with service providers, including BellSouth, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and others.

AOL, a Dulles, Va., division of Time Warner Inc., said people would be able to sign up for the high-speed service starting Jan. 30. The service would be available for prices starting at $25.90 a month. In BellSouth's territory, it would cost $29.90 a month.

"We are taking advantage of the improving economics of broadband access to create an offering that combines the AOL service with the speed of broadband at a competitive price," Jonathan F. Miller, chairman and chief executive of AOL, said in a statement.

AOL plans to market the service through a nationwide advertising campaign.

AOL's aggressive move to broadband follows several years of declining subscribers to its dial-up service, which has suffered as an increasing number of people nationwide move to high-speed connections offered by cable and telephone companies. Last year, 54 percent of online adults accessed the Internet over broadband at home, according to Harris Interactive.

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