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AOL Announces VoIP Service

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Welcome! You've got VoIP.

That was the message America Online sent to the world Tuesday via the VON Spring 2005 conference here, where AOL chief executive Jon Miller officially announced the "AOL Internet Phone Service," with pricing and availability details to follow in the next 30 days.

"It's really time" for Voice over IP services, Miller said, during a keynote address to several thousand VON attendees. While admitting that AOL knows that "there's a lot we don't know, a lot of hurdles and questions," Miller was confident that his company's history of successfully bringing communications technology to the mass markets would continue in the VoIP space.

Specifically, Miller said AOL will look to bring more than just replacement telephone service to VoIP, instead building on its e-mail and instant-messaging expertise to bring more functionality to voice communications.

"We think [VoIP] can be much broader," Miller said. "there's a totally different opportunity by integrating presence. You can screen the call, take the call, or send an instant message -- your buddy list becomes a dashboard [for action]."

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