AOL UK Dissolves in Carphone Warehouse’s Troubled TalkTalk


A customer-base of 2.1 million that belonged to AOL Broadband Provider UK has been shifted over to the registers of Carphone Warehouse through their TalkTalk Broadband ISP. To be precise, AOL Broadband UK had about 1.5 million broadband cutomers and 600,000 dial-up customers. TalkTalk experienced some tough competition from British Sky Broadband (BskyB) that was in the end, put off by the former to bag the deal for GBP370 million. Now the deal says, TalkTalk has to pay GBP250 million upfront in cash, and for the balance payment in three installments it has eighteen months’ grace period.

Carphone Warehouse  as well, was not having a nice ball with its TalkTalk broadband ISP, as it clearly published figures stating a loss of GBP70 million, from its venture of providing broadband for free to 625,000 people who opted for TalkTalk since its launch last April. However, their current plan is definitely to keep AOL operation separate from TalkTalk. As a result, the brand as well as the charging scheme of the AOL Broadband ISP will be retained. As for the TalkTalk customers, large numbers have been found complaining regarding poor ordinary service. In fact, many customers were even kept waiting up to around a couple of months for a broadband connection, according to reports.

Trading update of TalkTalk’s second quarter revealed that only 421,000 customers, out of a total of 421,000 customers who have signed up for its broadband, have been connected. As a matter of fact, only 20,000 of these customers have been comprehensively unbundled from BT at local exchange level. This makes clear that for about 400,000 connections TalkTalk is still paying BT rentals. On the other hand, 200,000 customers is still in no man’s land.

The customers who stay disgruntled has complained of poorly integrated operations. The fact that only three hundred seventy exchanges out of four hundred seventy has been unbundled by TalkTalk, adds to its plight. The UK ISP recently had quietly withdrawn its all-in-one broadband offer package that offered line and call facilities apart from the broadband, from some parts of the UK, which is now charged a fee of GBP10 in those areas.

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