AT&T Corp. said Tuesday it would offer access to the Internet nationwide,
presenting free subscriptions to its existing customers if they use the global
network for less than five hours a month. The company will charge $19.95 a
month for unlimited access to the Internet by existing customers. People who
use other long-distance or cellular services will be able to sign up for
AT&T's Internet access at a slightly higher rate.
The move represents a challenge to existing pricing models for on-line
access, which generally starts with monthly charges of $5 to $10. It also
represents another step in the company's ability to combine several kinds of
telecommunications service . The free access is available only for a year to
people who sign up during 1996. AT&T said it would take orders immediately for
the service, which begins March 14. It will be an extension of its existing
WorldNet service, which provides Internet access to businesses. AT&T will
charge people who do not use any of its other phone services $4.95 for three
hours of access per month, plus $2.50 per hour for each additional hour.
Unlimited monthly access will cost $24.95 to non-AT&T customers.