AOL Realizes Time Warner Exists
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?
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.)
| |drakeOverdosed on confidencePremium,MVM
| I think I'd have to concur with you, Jason Levine .|
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.
| || |said by Matt3: 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.
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.
·Time Warner Cable
Re: Extra Cost?
quote: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?
Holy St. Francis! $54 per month? What for, what do you get for that type of money and who would pay for that?
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
Fairfax Station, VA
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