"Because broadband connections such as DSL and cable modems are not yet widely available and tend to be costly, the majority of residential and SOHO users still use inexpensive dialup
AOL UK's recent decision to price all dialup
calls at 1 pence per minute, regardless of BT rate, using an 0800 number and billing the user separately, left many thinking it had abandoned its toll-free plans.
It supports multiprotocol LANs with dialup
access or dedicated options ranging from ISDN to full-capacity T3 links.
Previously, users paid AOL for the number of hours they spent online per month, in addition to paying the metered dialup
costs to a telephone company.
Internet service provider Telinco Plc prepared the ground on Friday for its own toll-free dialup
service by criticizing its rivals Freeserve Plc and AOL UK for presenting "confusing" unmetered access offerings.
As usual, BT will pay for the service by charging customers per minute for the dialup
AOL UK responded to the increasingly competitive UK internet service provider market with a three-pronged swipe at dialup
call charges and barriers to consumer internet take-up.
Similarly, some carriers advertise rates of 5 pence per minute from the UK to Australia, whereas Callserve offers 7 pence, before dialup
costs are taken into consideration.
Details of the German offer are yet to emerge, but with a monthly subscription of about $5, it seems unlikely PCs could be offered to AOL users without unreasonably long-term contracts or minimum usage terms (the firm makes some money from dialup
Deutsche Telekom AG has started rolling out its "T-DSL" DSL service, and some internet service providers have started offering unmetered dialup
access for exorbitant prices in response.
Earlier this year, Voss began marketing ISP services to schools and charities, under a revenue-sharing system where interconnection fees from dialup
net access would be split between telcos, Voss and the school/charity.
Last week ISP Superweb NV launched via the Eneco NV cable network in Rotterdam, offering subscription-based net access but with toll-free dialup
. This is expected to reduce heavy net users' monthly expenditure more drastically than merely not paying for subscription, and is yet another indication of how the subscription-and-call-charge model is no longer king in Europe.