AOL UK passes 200,000 users, goes flat rate

AOL UK celebrated passing 200,000 users yesterday by introducing flat-rate pricing here.

The world's largest online service last night confirmed its flat-rate move with three new plans: Unlimited access for £16.95 per month; Light Access at £4.95 per month for three hours and £2.35 for each extra hour; and Annual pricing for £179.40 (£14.95 per month). AOL users will have 60 days to choose a new plan.

AOL UK managing director Jonathan Bulkeley promises AOL has learned from problems in the US when unexpectedly high traffic shattered capacity following the flat-rate move.

"We're doing it, one, because our members wanted it; two, because the telecommunications market here is competitive enough and; three, because we have the benefit of seeing the States go through it," Bulkeley said. "They were the victims of their own success. We have built up our network to cope with flat-rate. What happened in the States will not happen here."

"For the hard core users this is great news and this is like a 'thank you' to them. We're really looking for the six to seven hour users who are curtailing usage because the metre was running. We don't want them to worry about the clock."