AOL Falls to Third Largest ISP

In yet another sign of the ubiquity of broadband, AOL said yesterday it now counts only 12 million subscribers - a far cry from the company's peak of 26.7 million in 2002. AOL is now only the third largest ISP, behind both AT&T with 12.1 million subscribers and Comcast with 12.9 million.

AOL has ceased marketing its dial-up and high-speed Internet services, instead focusing on its advertising-based Web business. The company says 8 million users have signed up to the free offerings, although nearly half are former AOL ISP customers. Still, the company remains upbeat about its progress, saying users are now spending more time on AOL Web properties, meaning advertising revenues should increase.

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