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AOL will not support Mailing Lists - Part Four Chucking AOL


I couldn't believe it, I just can't believe in AOL anymore. I decided to see what suggestions AOL had to get around the "no more mailing list" policy. AOL Keyword: Newsgroups stated this morning:

"Please note: Beginning early 2005, AOL will no longer be providing direct access to newsgroups. We apologize for any inconvenience. For members with a separate high-speed Internet connection, we recommend contacting your service provider to confirm if they offer access to newsgroups. Newsgroup services from your high-speed provider can be accessed through a third party reader, such as Mozilla Thunderbird . Alternatively, you can access Newsgroups via Google at To connect with others who share your interests, visit AOL Keyword: People Connection where you can find and learn more about AOL Journals (blogs), message boards and chat rooms."

For years, you've heard how AOL just cannot handle the volume of email it's members receive. In separate tests, two or three years ago, I have observed that only 7 out of 10 emails sent from outside AOL to my own email account actually gets delivered. Dick Eastman reports similar findings. Seasoned AOL users in our local society know that AOL-to-AOL email sometimes gets delayed 2-5 days, and that perhaps 1-2 emails of this "member-to-member" variety never get delivered. I could handle that because it isn't a perfect world, and things fall through the cracks sometimes. The US Postal Service isn't perfect either.

Now we are informed that the world's largest internet service provider has decided to cut off full access to everything internet, by eliminating the delivery of incoming messages from mailing lists (aka newsgroups). This means that although AOL subscribers pay top dollar in the industry for dial up service, they will no longer receive the full benefits that every other online service provides. I can't think of another ISP that charges as much for dialup service as AOL.

IF YOU WISH TO LEAVE AOL, here are some of my thoughts. They are by no means ALL the alternatives, but let's just get some concrete ideas on the table for our AOL friends.



DSL - This is available through your local telephone company. You can then be online and talking on the phone at the same time. Only a little faster in most cases than dialup service.

The phone company provides an external modem, and your computer will connect to it via an Ethernet cable. Most newer computers have Ethernet 10/100 ports, but you can get a an external converter cord about 6 inches long that goes into a USB port with the Ethernet port on the other end. All of your telephones need a shield cable (provided for free by the telephone company in your DSL package) to go between the wall and the telephone. This shield prevents the phones from interfering with the internet connection and vice-versa.

HIGH SPEED - very fast internet access.
This is available through your local cable company. We have Bright House, yours might be Comcast. Both offer high speed cable at a slightly reduced rate to subscribers of their cable television basic packages. In my area, Bright House offers:

  • RoadRunner High Speed
  • EarthLink High Speed
  • AOL HighSpeed - Remember, though, AOL doesn't offer full email, so don't choose it.

I chose RoadRunner high speed a few years ago, and never regretted the decision. Two of us split the cost of service, and we can be online at the same time with no difficulty. Our computers each have an Ethernet cable that plugs into a router. The router is a box with an electrical connection, that has several ports in the back. One port has an Ethernet cable that runs to the external cable modem provided by the cable company. Because of this home network, we are able to directly share files and printers without using floppy disks or CDs.

There is such as thing as a satellite connection to the internet, and there are alternative small local ISP (Internet Service Provider). Sometimes you don't have much of a choice, particularly if you live in a remote area. Good luck.

I am seriously considering canceling my AOL service, though I hardly ever use it for email at all. I did it to protect the use of my screen name -- but then how many nefarious genealogy columnist wanna-bes are there in the world who would jump at picking up my screen name 6 months after I cancel?

For Further Reading:

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt      :)
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207

1995-2009 Pat Richley HOME | Ask | Blog Right-click to copy RSS feed URL. Add to My Yahoo BookShelf | ContactLessons | Listen to Podcast media RSS feed
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