ISP Review - Interview with AOL UK

ISP Review interviews AOL UK about broadband, dialup and spam

Interview with AOL UK
By Mark 'Winter' Jackson : Feb 2nd - 2004 : Page 2 of 4

"Most of the current challenges in the broadband market would be helped by there being genuine competition at a wholesale level"


6. How do you foresee AOL UK adapting to a future where affordable 10/20Mbps (ADSL2+ etc.) broadband technologies make their way into homes?

I suspect AOL would be perfectly placed because we believe in service providers offering content and access - what use will those high-speed services be without a wide selection of content to appeal to lots of different people.

7. If you could improve the ‘current’ broadband market, what things would you change/add (excluding better coverage and lower prices)?

Most of the current challenges in the broadband market would be helped by there being genuine competition at a wholesale level, which would stimulate innovation, efficiency and possibly cost reductions.

8. SPAM (junk/unwanted e-mail) has become a major problem, one that AOL has become well known for fighting. Given the option, what would you change about the current UK anti-SPAM laws to improve them?

It is early days as the EU Directive on privacy and communications has only just been implemented. One area it does not address is AOL's ability to sue spammers on behalf of our members, which is easier in other countries. This would be a beneficial change to the law long-term.

9. AOL recently trialled the 'Senders Permitted From' (SPF - http://spf.pobox.com) method of validating e-mails. Since many junk e-mails and viruses come from spoofed addresses, SPF could potentially help cut down on both. Any early word on how the trial went and whether or not it’s feasible for official introduction?

Too early to say but it is one area we are looking at closely as a way of reducing spam.

10. What other challenges do you foresee for AOL to overcome in the future?

The biggest challenge for AOL is maintaining momentum in the broadband market without a competitive range of wholesale suppliers. For the industry the key challenges are spam and online safety as we move to a multimedia online world, particularly those using broadband.

Reader Questions (some rewritten slightly for clarity):

11. KDS: Does AOL UK plan to adopt any lower speed broadband ADSL services, such as a 150 or 250Kbps option, much like Tiscali UK and several other providers now offer?

We have no specific timeframe at present but we have certainly not ruled it out.

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