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U.S. Still #1 in Dial-Up Internet Access Users

Washington Post reports that Microsoft's MSN made "an aggressive bid" to take dial-up Internet subscribers away from America Online, announcing that it would cut the MSN price of a service that has been dwindling in popularity.

Microsoft's price cut, to $17.95 a month from $21.95 for a dial-up service that includes e-mail, parental monitoring and photo services, is a sharp departure from AOL's strategy of pushing dial-up customers to switch to broadband. Last month, Dulles-based AOL announced that it would increase the monthly fee it charges its dial-up subscribers by $2, to $25.90. The AOL price increase began taking effect earlier this month.

As of 2005, 68 percent of North American households had Internet service, and that number is projected to be 78 percent by 2010, Forrester Research said. The company forecasts that by 2010, 62 percent of U.S. households will have broadband service, indicating that access to broadband and price will encourage many users to drop the slower dial-up service. Regardless, there are still more than 30 million dial-up households, Forrester said.

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