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AMERICA ONLINE/AMERITECH SIGN PACT FOR HIGH-SPEED DSL ACCESS.

America Online, Inc. (NYSE:AOL), the world's leading interactive services company, and Ameritech (NYSE:AIT), a global communications leader, have signed an agreement which will provide broadband Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) access to the AOL service.

As part of a multi-year agreement that is the largest to date for Ameritech's commercial DSL offering, Ameritech will accelerate installation of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) technology into phone switching centers that will serve 8 million homes by the end of 2001.

America Online will use Ameritech's commercial DSL service to offer high-speed access to AOL members in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

"Our commitment to expanding ADSL in the Midwest and our alliance with America Online will pave the way for new high-speed choices for consumers and fuel further growth in our fastest-growing line of business -- data communications," said Thomas E. Richards, Ameritech executive vice president of communications and information products.

Bob Pittman, president and COO of America Online, said: "AOL is strongly committed to finding new ways to offer our members added access to high-speed options. By partnering with telecommunications leaders like Ameritech, and exploring all means of access, we are delivering on the promise of the interactive medium and helping to make broadband access a reality for the mass market consumer. Including AOL's previous DSL agreements, we now have relationships with companies covering 55% of all U.S. households."

America Online will offer high-speed access in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin using Ameritech's commercial ADSL technology over telephone wires. At speeds of up to 768 kilobits per second, DSL access can be more than 26 times faster than the standard 28.8 kbps modem. The DSL upgrade is expected to cost AOL members approximately $20 extra per month.

In addition to high-speed access, members who take advantage of the DSL-powered upgrade options will be assured of the following:

-- "Instant on" access to AOL, as no dial-up is required for DSL users because they are always connected;

-- Consistently high-speed access because DSL implements a broadband connection to each individual user; and

-- Broadband-enhanced multimedia and other services.

The companies also announced that they will join in a cable modem trial later this year in the Chicago area. America Online will offer its high-speed service via Ameritech's americast(R) cable TV system in a multiple ISP trial that will demonstrate both technological feasibility and consumer choice.

Ameritech (NYSE:AIT) serves millions of customers in 50 states and 40 countries. Ameritech provides a full range of communications services including local and long-distance telephone and data, cellular, directories, paging, security, cable TV, Internet and more.

One of the world's 100 largest companies, Ameritech (www.ameritech.com) has 70,000 employees, 1 million shareowners and $33 billion in assets.

Founded in 1985, America Online, Inc., based in Dulles, VA, is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies, and e-commerce services.

America Online, Inc. operates: two worldwide Internet services, America Online, with more than 17 million members, and CompuServe, with approximately 2 million members; several leading Internet brands including ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger and Digital City, Inc.; the Netscape Netcenter and AOL.COM portals; the Netscape Navigator and Communicator browsers; and AOL MovieFone, the nation's No. 1 movie listing guide and ticketing service.

Through its strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems, the Company develops and offers easy-to-deploy, end-to-end e-commerce and enterprise solutions for companies operating in the Net Economy.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements address the timing of deployment, availability, new technology and pricing and benefits of DSL service.

For more information, call 703/265-2359.
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Comment:AMERICA ONLINE/AMERITECH SIGN PACT FOR HIGH-SPEED DSL ACCESS.
Publication:RBOC Update
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 1999
Words:612
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