Time Warner, AOL Plug Broadband


Time Warner Cable is teaming up with corporate sister America Online Inc. to pitch broadband-Internet service to cable subscribers.

AOL and Time Warner Cable agreed to market a customized version of the MSO’s Road Runner high-speed-Internet service to the 3 million narrowband AOL customers who live in Time Warner Cable’s footprint.

The product, branded “Road Runner Plus AOL,” will also be pitched to other cable operators for distribution.

“AOL would like to offer this to other cable operators, and conversations have started along those lines,” Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt told reporters on a conference call Monday morning.

Time Warner Cable will provide the high-speed connection to subscribers, while AOL will manage and sell advertising for the new broadband product and the Road Runner portal (www.rr.com/rdrun).

“This deal recognizes that the cable company is the primary seller of access and AOL is the primary seller of features and advertising,” Britt said.

The companies wouldn’t disclose the pricing for the broadband service, which Time Warner Cable and AOL have begun testing in Raleigh, N.C.

The strategy should boost Time Warner Cable’s high-speed-data-subscriber count, and it may help AOL to drive increased broadband-advertising revenue.

AOL CEO Jonathan Miller predicted that the majority of the 3 million AOL dial-up subscribers who live in Time Warner Cable’s footprint would convert to the Road Runner Plus AOL service within three years.

“We have every intention of moving share to Time Warner Cable. We’ll market actively to our base and try to get them onto Time Warner Cable,” Miller said.