The Journal says AOL is considering giving away its service, including email, to people who already have access in a bet that the ad revenue will compensate for $2 billion in lost access revenue.
My understanding is that since everybody is leaving anyway AOL will open its services to the public and will compensate the loss of access fee with advertisement revenue. It sound like a problematic plan, but I don’t think they have much choice anymore.
And some people think the content is what’s most important. It’s the connection first and the content second. Because without the connection the content doesn’t matter and in AOL’s case the poor connection speed just didn’t justify it for their customers.
The strategy seems to be “let’s piss off all the dial-up users by offering free service to the DSL customers”.
I can almost imagine a situation where they put this plan into place, and dial-up users use the day to share with each other information on how to migrate to far cheaper, far more dependable ISPs. AOL could conceivably be left with almost no paying customers by the end of the day.
My roommate and his family are on AOL dial-up, and they are already furious that AOL is even *thinking* about this.
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