AOL lays off 1,300

The ISP also plans to shut down its customer support center in Jacksonville, Fla.

AOL announced on Tuesday that it will show 1,300 workers the door and completely close its Jacksonville, Fla., customer support facility.

The layoff, which affects mainly call center operators, will also hit the Time Warner Internet unit's Tucson, Ariz., and Ogden, Utah, call centers.

The number of callers using AOL help lines has declined by about 50 percent in the past two years, Nicholas Graham, vice president of AOL corporate communications, told CNET News.com.

"We are dealing with a member base far more sophisticated than that of '96, when we established the call centers," Graham said, "We have also greatly expanded the number of products that have diagnostic tools enabling members to troubleshoot on their own. As a result, our member base is generating fewer calls.?

But AOL has also seen a decline in subscribers . The company announced a loss of 865,000 U.S. members and a 7 percent decline in revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter, bringing U.S. membership down to 18.6 million.

As AOL loses more subscribers to high-speed broadband services, it is focusing on other forms of revenue. It announced a 26 percent rise in advertising revenue from its free online Web site. It has also announced a new free phone-to-PC service through AIM Phoneline Unlimited .

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.

 

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