AOL Expanding Broadband, Portal Deals

    January 30, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Three phone companies will join Verizon and Time Warner Cable as providers of broadband connectivity; AOL and Sony brokered a portal deal focused on users of Sony Vaio PCs.

AOL announced agreements with AT&T, BellSouth, and Qwest Communications to provide branded broadband service to their customers, called AOL High Speed. AOL plans to price the new service at $25.90 per month in AT&T and Qwest territories, and $29.90 in BellSouth territory.

The New York Times reported how AOL will encourage current users of its dialup service to make the switch. AOL plans to increase the monthly cost of dialup to $25.90 per month from $23.90.

AOL did not note the connection speed it will offer at the price levels available from its new telco partners. However, the pricing is consistent with 1-1.5Mb service offerings currently available from other providers.

The Sony-AOL partnership focuses on Sony VAIO computer owners. A portal focused on Sony owners contains the familiar AOL content. Above the fold on the right side of the screen of the AOL/Sony site, a block of content dedicated to Sony appears.

Sony users can find links to support, shopping, and a VAIO learning center from the AOL site. In February, Sony will begin shipping VAIO products with the co-branded AOL page as a default web browser setting along with other AOL applications pre-installed.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.