'

Q&A (2) - AOL's Bulkeley on profit and cats

Still, it's a tough market when you can have huge growth but still post such tight financials. What future do online services have when ISPs offer the whole of the Net for under £9 per month?

But for £8.99 what sort of service are you going to get? We made money in our last quarter - $2.16 million. The deal is: if we stopped going for growth and marketing we'd make more, but we don't want to do that. We have a lot of infrastructure. Once we have fixed costs in place that will help.

It is tough... people like Demon Internet looking around for friends...

Friends, rescuers... Within 12 months we lapped them.

Despite the hassles of making a profit, the good news for ISPs is that we still seem some way short of saturation. When do you see the user growth in the online/Internet access market reaching a plateau?

Not in the next couple of years. There are so many people buying PCs.

You do a lot of member profiling. What findings in the UK did you find most surprising and how do the stats compare to the US?

29 per cent [of users] had cats! Early on its normal that you'll get affluent people, kids, young people. Hopefully we'll see women increasing, see the age gap flatten and so on.

[Compared to the US] everything is the same. It follows the same curve.