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AOL revamps its home page

The redesigned AOL.com promotes the company's broadband Internet service, as it struggles to overcome the defection of members from its dial-up service.

Jim Hu Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Jim Hu
covers home broadband services and the Net's portal giants.
Jim Hu
2 min read
America Online on Tuesday quietly launched a redesigned AOL.com home page in an effort to better promote its broadband Internet service.

The site contains samples of AOL's broadband content, such as video clips of its Super Bowl commercial, a question-and-answer section and information about various price plans for the service. Tabs with sections labeled "What is AOL?" and "Why Choose AOL?" line the top of the page.

AOL members can still access the old AOL.com when they sign on to the site. Once signed in, the page reverts to its former appearance, including links to Web-based e-mail, photos, a calendar, AOL Instant Messenger and other services. However, AOL will update this page with more Web content this spring, according to AOL spokeswoman Ruth Sarfaty.

"The real motivation is to leverage the AOL.com Web site to entice new users to check out AOL and AOL for Broadband," Sarfaty said.

AOL has made a full-court press to promote its AOL for Broadband service, including sponsoring the Super Bowl half-time show. The push highlights a critical period in AOL's life span, because the service continues to lose dial-up subscribers at an alarming rate. AOL is trying to suture its wounds by selling a version of its service to people who already have broadband at home.

AOL for Broadband is priced at $14.95 a month, cheaper than the standard $23.90 a month for dial-up service. The company hopes that its service will have enough appeal to convince people to pay $14.95 on top of their broadband bill.

Last quarter, parent company Time Warner said AOL added 340,000 broadband subscribers for a total of 2.6 million members. The company lost 688,000 dial-up subscribers during the same period.