AOL Broadband Customers See Fee Hike


A group of America Online Inc. customers who have broadband connections
will be paying more as of March to tap the No. 1 Internet-service provider.

The AOL Time Warner Inc. ISP arm notified customers that their BYOA fees
would be rising 50 percent, from $9.95 per month to $14.95, as of the March
billing cycle.

BYOA, which stands for 'bring your own access,' allows customers to tap into
AOL services via an Internet connection other than AOL.

Broadband customers who access the Internet
with a service other than AOL but still want AOL service must
sign up for BYOA..

Cable-modem customers who opt for AOL in 20 Time Warner Cable markets
where AOL is offered alongisde Road Runner and EarthLink Network Inc. service
will not see price increases.

In other cable systems, however, cable-modem customers must pay their local
cable companies for high-speed service, with prices in the $40- to $50-per-month
range, plus $14.95 for AOL access.

To date, AOL has 1 million broadband and dialup customers signed up for the
BYOA plan.

To lessen the sting, AOL is offering all BYOA-plan members two free hours of
dialup roaming per month, with more time costing $2.95 per hour. This is the
first price increase since the plan was created in 1996.

The increase is a trend among broadband providers.
Analysis firm ARS Inc. issued a report that found that cable-modem customers on
average are paying 12 percent more now than they were at the beginning of