ISP Review - AOL UK Interview

ISP Review interviews ISP AOL UK

AOL UK Interview
By Mark 'Winter' Jackson : Feb 8th-2005 : Page 1 of 2

"With the substantial uptake of broadband during 2004, it was a good year for all ISPs"


AOL UK is by far and away one of the country’s oldest Internet Service Providers, as well as being among the biggest. Unlike most providers, AOL operates a style of ‘content gateway’ to the Internet instead of direct access.

In an effort to better understand the market, we wanted to know how ISP’s themselves view issues such as SPAM, VoIP, future broadband and local loop unbundling (LLU) etc.

To do this we set out to interview a number of different providers, some distinguished by their choice of technology, others for their method of content delivery. AOL UK is the second in our list to be interviewed:

1) Who are you and what do you do?

Jonathan Lambeth, Director of Communications, AOL UK.

2) What is your ISP doing both now and in the future towards cutting down the amount of SPAM and e-mail viruses sent to customers?

This splits into two areas:

Anti-virus: AOL offers free email virus scanning to all subscribers in order to protect them from viruses in email attachments and free McAfee Firewall software to all broadband members. It is very important that all broadband users have firewall software in place. AOL’s anti-spyware software, also free to subscribers, can detect hundreds of spyware applications and offer the option to remove them.

Anti-spam: AOL blocks more than one billion spam emails every day at a network level before they reach AOL members. This ‘blocklist’ is based largely on reports from members themselves, nominating persistent spammers.

The AOL software also includes comprehensive anti-spam controls for diverting email from specific senders or containing certain keywords to the dedicated spam folder.

AOL also undertakes and supports extensive legal activity to hit the spammers where it hurts, including multi-million dollar fines or even jail sentences. It has also campaigned for changes to legislation where they will make it easier to take legal action against persistent commercial spammers.

3) Was 2004 a good year for your provider or a bad year and why?

With the substantial uptake of broadband during 2004, it was a good year for all ISPs. For AOL in particular, broadband is important because it enables the delivery of really exciting content, such as music, film and advanced communications, such as video instant messenger. AOL has always focused on delivering broadband as a package, including content and key features.

If local loop unbundling is allowed to be successful, consumers will see even better value for money and more advanced services in the year ahead.

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