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AOL stepping up Y2K compliance efforts

The online giant is ramping up efforts to make its vast computer systems Y2K-compliant, according to its most recent regulatory filing.

America Online is ramping up efforts to make its vast computer systems Y2K-compliant, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Last month the online giant began testing its system hardware components for Y2K compliance, the filing said. The company's software and corporate business and information systems are currently undergoing review and testing.

"To date, the company has experienced very few problems related to the Year 2000 testing, and the problems that have been identified are in the process of being fixed," according to AOL's "10-Q" filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

AOL said it spent $3 million through December 1998 to address Y2K compliance, but the company estimates it will spend a total of $8 million before the task is complete.

The company said also that it is asking its suppliers, joint venture partners, and content partners about their progress in identifying and addressing Y2K problems, "but has received very few complete responses" so far. It will continue these efforts.

"We have been testing and continue to test systems, and we haven't encountered any major problem," said AOL spokesman Rich D'Amato. He added that the company expects to reach 100 percent compliance by September of this year, and will continue to report its progress in future SEC filings.

AOL's filing said that the company expects to record a "significant gain" during the March 1999 quarter because it sold a significant portion of its investment in Excite for net proceeds of about $500 million. The sale has been reported previously.