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March 3, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:15pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Few substantial companies have been in the wars so much as America Online Inc in the past few weeks, but its chief financial officer, Lennert Leader, did not shirk the challenge of the Robertson Stephens & Co Tech 97 conference, and he told the attendees that the company expects to keep its subscriber base essentially unchanged in the current quarter, at more than 8m. We’re not seeing any extraordinary churn in the business, Leader said – Naturally, we see somewhat higher churn, but again it was nothing unusual and our expectation is that once the network is built out, we’ll get back to historical or even better subscriber growth trends. He told the investors he thought brand identity and high ratings for America Online’s ease of use had caused customers to complain about access problems after the company went to flat-rate pricing in December, but he said the company would offer more favourable terms to customers inconvenienced by the network access problems than had been agreed with states’ attorneys general last month. He also estimated that the company will have 350,000 modems when the $350m investment to enhance its network is completed at the end of June, up from 50,000 today. America Online is also leasing up to 50,000 modems in the meanwhile for short-term relief.

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