From the press release:
America Online, Inc. and Covad Communications Group, Inc. announced today a new agreement to offer the next generation of broadband connectivity options to AOL for Broadband members. Covad’s Broadband Connect product is a new class of high-speed DSL connection without any accompanying content or applications.
In 2003, AOL added 1.2 million broadband members, bringing its total broadband audience as of December 31 to nearly 3 million members, making AOL a leading provider of premium broadband services. This new agreement with Covad represents an additional milestone in the creation of the premium broadband service category, and a new era of choice and convenience for consumers.
Covad’s Broadband Connect product offers connection speeds of up to 1.5Mbps (megabits per second) downstream and 256Kbps (kilobits per second) upstream for $34.95 a month with a 12-month contract. An additional plan offering connection speeds of up to 3.0Mbps (megabits per second) downstream and 384Kbps (kilobits per second) upstream for $39.95 a month with a 12-month contract will become available to consumers later this year.
Covad’s new Broadband Connect product is now available across the United States in approximately 40 million U.S. homes and includes service in 96 of the top Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). To make it easy for customers to purchase Covad’s Broadband Connect product, AOL has also introduced a new High Speed Internet Options service, making it possible for consumers nationwide to sign up for the AOL for Broadband service and purchase Internet connectivity at the same time.
“Our agreement with Covad represents a significant milestone in the creation of the premium broadband category and a new era of choice for consumers,” said Lisa Hook, President, AOL for Broadband, Premium and Platform Services, America Online, Inc. “We’re very pleased with the progress we continue to make in broadband and believe a simple high-quality connection to the Internet provides our members with the most customer-friendly solution to enjoy the AOL for Broadband experience.”
“AOL’s core competency is delivering premier content, enhanced security features, innovative communication tools, and intuitive search and benefits, while Covad’s expertise is in providing a suite of broadband access products through its leading nationwide DSL network,” said Charles Hoffman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Covad. “By combining the strengths of AOL’s premier services and content with Covad’s best-in-class DSL we expect to create customer benefits neither company could achieve on its own.”
AOL members can access AOL for Broadband’s new High Speed Internet Options service at AOL Keyword: High Speed Internet Options to see local options for high-speed Internet connectivity from providers in their area, including Covad’s new Broadband Connect product which will be shown as AOL for Broadband Powered by Covad, as well as upgrade to AOL for Broadband. Consumers may also call 1-800-466-5463.
The AOL for Broadband premium service offers consumers a complete broadband experience with the features they need to enhance any basic high-speed Internet connection, including:
- Safety and security features that include custom and adaptive spam filters, automatic e-mail anti-virus protection, comprehensive PC-based virus protection available for an additional fee, McAfee(r) Personal Firewall Express (available as a download), Web Pop-Up controls, and coming soon, AOL(r) Spyware Protection.
- Parental Controls to help parents monitor and set limits on what their children see and do online.
- Advanced communication tools; Radio@AOL and Video@AOL features on-demand; and digital photo services to manage, store, share and print digital pictures.
- Dedicated toll-free 24/7 customer service and live technical support via chat.
- U.S. dial-up access (roaming) so members can use the AOL for Broadband service from the road while traveling or on vacation, even while someone else in the family is on their high-speed connection at home.
- Members with home networking equipment can also use the multiple simultaneous log-on feature so that families can share the broadband experience from multiple computers with only one AOL for Broadband account and a high-speed connection. Whether members want to set up a wired or wireless home network, AOL works to make the process hassle-free by helping them equip their home, easily and affordably, via its Broadband Gear store.
- The best on-demand and exclusive programming online — across news, sports, music and entertainment — including access to content packages and features from leading brands worth more than $100 per month elsewhere on the Web.
- Technology to help ensure the highest-level of reliability and performance, as well as the AOL Computer Check-Up feature to help members keep their computer running at its best.