Many Ways to Pay -- or to Leave

By Leslie Walker
Thursday, March 2, 2006

With apologies to Paul Simon, I have a few thoughts after reading the gazillion e-mails America Online subscribers sent me last week about moving from dial-up to broadband:

There must be 50 ways to leave your AOL.

You just slip into cable, Mable.

Buy a DSL plan, Fran.

You don't need to delay, Fay.

Just move to broadband.

Hook up Wi-Fi, Di.

You don't need to wonder why.

Just drop your e-mail, Gail.

And get out of jail.

America Online, like a lover fearful of getting dumped for a younger, stronger Internet provider, has been wooing its roughly 14 million dial-up subscribers with ads for "AOL High Speed." Effective March 9, the company is boosting its monthly fee for unlimited dial-up access by $2, to $25.90, the same price as the new high-speed plans AOL is co-marketing with cable and phone companies.

I wrote about AOL's broadband strategy last week and invited AOL members to send their thoughts about whether they think it's worth paying extra for AOL's software once they get a fast Internet connection.

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