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March 27, 1996

FREE AOL FOR UK SCHOOLS

By CBR Staff Writer

America Online Inc, of Vienna, Virginia said it is offering all the 6,000 secondary schools in England, Scotland and Wales free accounts to its on-line service. Earlier the company extended a similar offer to 2,000 schools in California for one year. The offer includes access to the Internet and all of America Online’s channels, including a National Curriculum area from Anglia Multimedia Ltd. The offer will cost America Online hundreds of thousands of pounds, it said, depending on the take- up rate. But children will persuade their parents to get America Online at home, reckons Jonathan Bulkeley, managing director of America Online UK. That’s the business reason behind the offer. Schools will still have to pay for the telephone calls, but there will be no additional surcharges due to America Online, it said. The company points out that it now has 80% coverage in the UK and says it will have 100% in the next two to three months.

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