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AOL Realizes Time Warner Exists
And vice-versa...
by Karl Bode 09:10AM Monday Jan 31 2005
For years, if you plugged AOL's corporate address into the Roadrunner "search for service" website applet, it recommended Adelphia as your best bet for an ISP. That kind of disconnect exemplified the dysfunction that has existed for years between AOL, parent company Time Warner, and Roadrunner - on almost every level.

It may have taken a long time, but the two companies have finally acknowledged one another. AOL has announced they've joined forces with Time Warner Cable and Roadrunner to create a migration option for their dial-up customers.

Existing Roadrunner users get AOL for free if they want it, a product which features 10 hours of free dial-up, and access to both Roadrunner and AOL content. AOL dial-up users have an easy upgrade path to broadband that allows them to retain AOL's familiarity.

"By working closely with Time Warner Cable, we're making it easier for our customers to enjoy the best of the AOL service's premium content and features designed for broadband with a top-quality, high-speed connectivity service at an affordable price," proclaims AOL CEO Jonathan Miller.

Work closely with the broadband provider your company owns to help migrate millions of dial-up AOL customers (their advertising cash-cow) to broadband? Genius!

If this were 2001.

When your parent company owns one of the largest media empires on the planet, as well as several ISP's and a cable company, you'd think the obvious course of action for AOL would have been apparent to AOL long ago.

Instead, AOL seemed to be magnetically drawn to stupid decisions and irrational behavior. The company has been wildly flailing its limbs in a quest to stay relevant in the advent of broadband. Ad revenue from dial-up subs took priority over evolution.

In December of 2002, AOL CEO Jonathan Miller awoke, then subsequently admitted the company had "missed the first wave of broadband" but would be correcting their course immediately.

With much fanfare, his strategy for AOL's survival was unveiled: "wall off" AOL content, stop reselling broadband service, and pray that broadband customers would pay $15 a month for AOL BYOA (bring your own access) on top of the price of their connection.

Most customers wisely weren't buying, unimpressed with "extreme" exclusive Sugar Ray concert video streams.

So AOL has changed course once again. AOL Broadband president Lisa Hook, who in 2002 told the Washington Post broadband was "a side-issue" was fired along with a slew of executives late last year.

This new crew would appear to have a better grasp of the obvious; at least drawing a tenuous connection between wanting to migrate their dial-up AOL base to broadband, and the fact they own several ISP's, and a cable company with a massive footprint.

But has AOL missed their window?

view:
topics flat nest 

reub2000
Premium
join:2001-12-28
Evanston, IL

My condolences go to RR members

I'm sorry yo hear that you'll have to put up with AOL.

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

Re: My condolences go to RR members

as long as I don't have to put up with their customer support, i really don't have any problems at all with getting their content.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361
Great to see that AOL is making a smart business decision for once, following on the heels of Verizon's deal with MSN.

Daishi7
Premium
join:2002-02-24

Re: My condolences go to RR members

They are offering the AOL browser to TW users because AOL's subscriber loss is starting to equal lost revenue from advertisers. Their numbers are tanking so this is just a vehicle for serving ads to Road Runner users for cash.
Goldman

join:2002-06-21
Maumelle, AR

What?

[January 31, 2005]

America Online and Time Warner Cable Join Forces to Provide Customized Broadband Offering

-----------------------

Jan 31, 2005? I would be embarrassed to make an announcement like this. Talk about missing the boat.

W8ASA
Tieng gi vay?

join:2000-07-31
Dayton, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T Midwest

We'll see what we will see....

Somehow, I have a feeling that my RR at home might become less useful to me. If they "force" me to install the AOL bloatware, I'm outta here.... If not, just let me use RR as I have always done and I'll be fine, especially with my 5Mb connection speed.

(message to don logan) Don't mess with your long-time users. Give us a choice and then leave us alone. OK?
--
Microwave and RF Components at www.ohiomicrowave.com

Shaggy Dog

@rr.com

Re: We'll see what we will see....

Your Road Runner Service will remain a full use, full featured ISP. You will have the "Choice" to also use features from AOL, and Road Runner will have the opportunity to use content from another group within the Time Warner family.

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

The Offering

Under the agreement, the new broadband offering will consist of a special edition of the AOL client with its popular content and features optimized for broadband that is combined with Road Runner's high-speed connectivity and its content. This new offering will provide unlimited broadband access as well as 10 hours of dial-up connectivity monthly. Once installed by Time Warner Cable, the new offering's client will be available on the computer desktop and the AOL.com portal will be set as the default home page.
I don't know about other RR users, but I couldn't care less about AOL's content. I don't want TW Cable to install an AOL client onto my PC nor do I want my home page set to AOL.com. Luckily, the article says that the normal, non-AOL service will still be available. I'll stay on that service thank you very much. And if they decide to discontinue the non-AOL service, I'll move to DSL. (A move I've been pondering for awhile but haven't done because the price savings don't offset the speed decrease.)
--
-Jason Levine
http://www.jasons-toolbox.com/
http://www.PCQandA.com/
http://www.urateit.com/

SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX

Re: The Offering

Roadrunner has been trying to get me to install bleated software for years. Never touched it and never needed. Suggested to all my friends and family to avoid it as well. If the new Roadrunner/AOL comes to your door just don't install it. Ah... the joys of DHCP.

drake
Overdosed on confidence
Premium,MVM
join:2002-06-10
Baldwin, NY
kudos:5
I think I'd have to concur with you, Jason Levine See Profile.
I'm not much of an AOL fan, myself. Yes, I use their software ... only because others in my home treat it as "user-friendly" type application. If it wasn't for that fact, AOL would be dead off my system -- never to be seen again!

If AOL/Time Warner decides to go ahead and combine their works, into a forceful tactic on subscribers, then, RR just lost me as an subscriber, overall --- and hello to Verizon DSL! The only thing I'd probably regret about switching is Verizon, here, in NYC has had some ongoing issues with their bandwidth for the last couple of weeks, and I really don't want be bogged down with a unreliable ISP.
--
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

Extra Cost?

It looks as though this will be either an add-on service, or a service targeting former AOL Dial-Up users.

It doesn't sound like they are going to force anything on the normal RR users.

If you remember, "AOL for Broadband" was like $54.95 and was much less capable.

If you currently have Road Runner and want to add AOL's Bring Your Own Access plan, well, that's another $14.95. Totally ridiculous IMHO. It should be maybe $4.95/month for their BYOA plan.

Perhaps this is AOL and Time Warner realizing that and lowering the price for people who wish to remain on AOL?

I could see parents purchasing that for their children, while offering an unfiltered pipe for mom and dad.

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

1 edit

Re: Extra Cost?

quote:
Perhaps this is AOL and Time Warner realizing that and lowering the price for people who wish to remain on AOL?
They simply want to migrate their dial-up base (read: advertising cash cow) to broadband, and it has taken them YEARS to realize that working closely with a broadband provider they own is a way to do that.....

AtomicZero

join:2004-11-24
West Palm Beach, FL
said by Matt3:

If you remember, "AOL for Broadband" was like $54.95 and was much less capable.

If you currently have Road Runner and want to add AOL's Bring Your Own Access plan, well, that's another $14.95. Totally ridiculous IMHO. It should be maybe $4.95/month for their BYOA plan.
Holy St. Francis! $54 per month? What for, what do you get for that type of money and who would pay for that? If you already had broadband/cable access that would be a total waste. But I do like you idea for the BYOA I think that should be more than reasonable, especially if you are using TW Cable.

djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO

1 edit

Re: Extra Cost?

quote:
Holy St. Francis! $54 per month? What for, what do you get for that type of money and who would pay for that?
I think he means AOL Broadband (AOL DSL). It was available around the time when virtually all of the telephone companies were selling DSL for $49 per month. It used a proprietary protocol. You could not easily use a wireless router, connect a game system, or anything like that. And it was buggy stuff. I was trying to support an XP system which simply could not run the newest version of their proprietary stack without crashing. Why on earth weren't they using standard PPPoE?

As a tech I understand why lots of people like AOL. I thought the idea of AOL DSL should have been a smash hit. But there was no way in hell I could recommend that service. Enabling connectivity only through the AOL frontend was a disaster. Even the most non-technical people I deal with end up wanting to use a wireless router to connect a laptop up or something later and it was clear the AOL service would preclude that. BYOA plus broadband was the only thing I could reasonably recommend.

Later they started offering a proprietary router, and then shortly after that, enabled PPPoE access, so AOL Broadband users could finally start using their service like a real broadband connection. Around this time DSL prices were falling like a rock, so BYOA actually became cheaper. But all of this happened what seemed like minutes before they announced that they would no longer be offering service. Of course, AOL then decides to raise prices of both dialup and BYOA. I watched a lot of people "learn to live without", facilitated by AOL's very own instant messenger service. Increasing the price of dialup service at this stage of the game is just ludicrous.

Using TWC to usher their dialup customers to cable sounds like a great idea, but I'm sure they'll find some other massive way to shoot themselves in the foot. I just pray that it doesn't come in the form of ruining their well respected Road Runner service, which so far has been amazingly unscathed by AOL's tentacles.
--
\\ROB - a part of the SCB local network

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

Re: Extra Cost?

it has nothing to do with AOL for Broadband. Just go to rr.com and on the sidebar at the bottom there's a link that says "AOL". That's where all the content is.
rbb

join:2000-09-17
Fairfax Station, VA

1 recommendation

When are people going to learn...

When are people going to learn that AOL is charging you for the "free" hours of dialup they get with BYOA? If you call AOL and tell them you do not want the dial up hours, the price of BYOA drops from $14.95 to $7.95 - a price I am more than willing to pay rather than teaching my wife to use a different system (the same reason why I buy automatics instead of manuals
B
Premium,MVM
join:2000-10-28

Re: When are people going to learn...


That's amazing -- I hadn't heard that. Is that price divulged anywhere on-line?

-- B

P.S. It's still far too much of course.
--
In a realm outside causality and function
rbb

join:2000-09-17
Fairfax Station, VA

Re: When are people going to learn...

Not as far as I know. I found it a long time ago. I asked them what I was geting when they changed my rate of $9.95 to $14.95 and they said I got 3 "free" hours of dialup. I asked what if I did not want the dialup hours - they came back with $7.95. BTW, if you exceed the number of dialup hours, it's $2 per hour, coincidence...
B
Premium,MVM
join:2000-10-28

Re: When are people going to learn...


I think this is newsworthy all by itself. Just not sure the best place to submit it...

Hey Karl! Look here!

-- B
--
In a realm outside causality and function

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

Re: When are people going to learn...

Yeah, I've heard that as well. They've also long offered you up to six months of service if you threaten to cancel.

Time Warner believes in the same practice. If you call up to complain you're spending too much on broadband, they'll actually offer you a discounted "Lite" broadband tier ($25-30 256-500kbps - I forget specifics) that does not officially exist.
B
Premium,MVM
join:2000-10-28

Re: When are people going to learn...

Fascinating. I wonder if ELN over TWC follows suit -- probably not.

But according to the DSLR news last July at »Roadrunner Lite Tier , the Lite tier was in a single city trial.

Is it available everywhere now?

-- B
--
In a realm outside causality and function

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

Re: When are people going to learn...

Not sure. Time Warner Cable is an odd beast in that different divisions will offer different services based on the market. (that extreme tier they had comes to mind)

That trial wound up in several markets, and I'm pretty sure was set to go national.

I think before they launched it they realized many of their pricier $40-$45 subs would downgrade, costing them money.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH
the Lite Tier is available in Western Ohio BUT you have to ask for it. Other wise they'll sell you the standard package.

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1
just go to rr.com and on the sidebar you should see a link that says "AOL". There's the AOL content perfectly free.
JPCass

join:2001-01-23
Denver, CO

So much for "synergies"

This is another interesting example of how many businesses and investors made horrendous blunders during the dot-com bust. It's also a good case study of how mergers and conglomerates often don't function well - though from today's news SBC/ATT, both being companies coming out of the same corporate culture and industry to begin with, stand a better chance.

I remember reading several years ago that despite the hype from the executives who sold the merger deal, AOL/TW was not being successful in getting their various divisions and operations to actually work together productively. I wonder if one of the problems is divisions not working together on things like discount pricing packages, that might appear to cut into the revenues of each but would benefit the corporation as a whole. Whatever the cause, AOL/TW still doesn't seem able to put together any sort of pricing package that is really attractive and competitive.
Toyz

join:2005-01-24
Pittsfield, MA

Embarrassing!

If my RR becomes synonymous with AOL I will bury my head in shame. I liked RR being completely unrelated to AOL (except for the fact TW owns both). If AOL successfully transfers all the AOL morons over to RR, then RR will inevetibly become the laughing stock of the internet, as AOL is now. I don't want to be embarrassed to use @.rr.com email address. And the ultimate nightmare will be if RR takes on AOL's billing practices! I can hear it now, "I told you I didn't want AOL with my RR, now take it off and stop billing me extra for it!!" "But Sir, AOL-RR will give you one more free month to give you time to reconsider..."
--
All my toyz are broken...

xillusionx

@172.16.x.x

Re: Embarrassing!

lol, I had to laught but sir we will give u a month to consider it. If you keep at it , u either get it removed or free year of a service u dont want.

-illusion

shaggy dog

@rr.com

Re: Embarrassing!

Your Road Runner e-mail, and RR service will still be there. RR Customer service will stay as is, and TW Cable will continue to install RR. The information says this is about chaoice, so choose the one you love..... it will be there

RageMan

join:2000-08-23
Middletown, OH

AOL

I got 6 months free AOL with my Dell I bought lastyear. Well I only used it afew times and forgot I had it til I forgot to cancel before the 6 months were up. I called to cancel and they beg me for about 10 mins to stay on and told me I could have another 6 months free. told them I didnt use it much the 6 months I had it so I doubt i would use it during another 6 months. AOL is nice if you are new to the net but otherwise is abig chatroom and tons of ads.

Geek4mil

@207.151.x.x

Oh no!

Geez, it took me years to get my mother-in-law to dump AOL Broadband and switch to Roadrunner. (She buys nice computers, but doesn't know much about how to use them, so she relies on me to be her tech support geek). She's a Time Warner cable subscriber, and they didn't charge her anything for the broadband access to AOL, because she was already paying the $54.95 for AOL Broadband. Before the switch, the connection was really fast but it was directly to AOL's servers, not a real connection to the Internet.

She still has the AOL account, and her AOL software still works the way it always did, but she was going to cut them off after people stopped sending e-mail there. I set her up with a Yahoo Mail Plus account so she wouldn't have to use a Roadrunner address.

I suppose AOL and Time Warner will now call her and ask her to stay with AOL.

LRings

@attbi.com

AboutTime

About time these 2 companies get along! I only wish I could get RR in my area, it would be cool to get AOL free with this.

Adelphia

For years, if you plugged AOL's corporate address into the Roadrunner "search for service" website applet, it recommended Adelphia as your best bet for a broadband provider

... because TWC/RoadRunner does not service the Dulles, VA area; Adelphia does. Duh!
Mordhem
Love it, Hate it.

join:2003-07-10
Baltimore, MD

1 edit

Re: Adelphia

Ya They should have taken a look at MSN and Verizon Awile ago :P but hell if I had a choice of VZ and the choice to switch to be able to use Aol I don't think I would dare :P msn mud stomps aol so sadly at one time I switched to like 7 other ISP's and I kept end back with Aol until I picked up MSN it was just was great and kept getting better tho only if MS would put that type of work in to IE.

But ya then cable came and I had to pick so ya I had to drop my MSN I still miss it wish comcast would also pick up the msn idea that be nice but I don't think they can because of the deal with VZ

But then again I would be even more happy if MS would make MSN free to use for anyone again :P

Good thing tho is I still got all my msn email adds even tho I mainly use my comcast email now.

Ohh Earthlink when I tryed that I wanted to off my self so bad lol it was like Aol but worse and more corny :P

Death2U
Premium
join:2006-01-22

MUAHAHAHA

AOL Exec 1: The sheep are running away from the flock! What will we do? They've escaped and are pushing the wrong buttons in a standard browser and crying over their e-mail address.

AOL Exec 2: My secret weapon, the Roadrunner bird, will catch them. There is no escape from the SPAM!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

*grins*