AOL increases prices to non-LLU areas
AOL was acquired by Carphone Warehouse back in 2006 who charge a premium for those not on one of their LLU exchanges. AOL is to do the same now with a £10 a month surcharge if you are not in a 'selected area', equating to about 40% of the population.
AOL has been a LLU player for sometime in a slow but steady way, clocking up over 300 unbundled exchanges. It is now owned by the same people who own Talk Talk, and we'd expect that they have access to the Opal LLU hardware which is installed in many more exchanges.
The LLU pricing is £14.99 for Broadband Silver, an up to 2Mbps service using 0.5Mbps, 1Mbps or 2Mbps fixed speed products depending on your distance from the exchange. Broadband Platinum is £29.99 for a rate adaptive up to 8Mbps product. Interestingly, the footnote for Platinum says 'Download speeds from 2 to 8 Mbps depending on where you live and technical factors such as the quality of your telephone line', which is difficult to do since rate adaptive ADSL can run slower than this on longer lines. This suggests AOL may only put those with a short line onto the Platinum product. It is also interesting to see it says download speed which could be interpreted by some as a statement of the contention levels of the service, when it is not.
If not in one of the selected areas, i.e. not on an LLU exchange with AOL hardware in it, then you add £10 to these prices making them £24.99 and £39.99. This is a pretty high price for a product that, while labeled as unlimited, does have a fair usage policy. People will need to weigh up the savings things like the free connection, free wireless router and the one month free service offer, remembering they will be committing to an eighteen month contract.
The situation with existing customers is unknown at this time, but we presume they will pay the same as they do now with a possible change as they come to the end of the contract terms.