ISP giant America Online revealed Monday that its subscriber base, including non-paying customers on trial offers, has jumped to 32 million.

The group posted a rise of one million in the last two-and-a-half months, the same period of time it took to surge from 30m to 31m. The sustained pace of growth comes in spite of a $1.95 hike in the monthly price of AOL’s US unlimited dial-up access to $23.90, making the company America’s most pricey dial-up provider.

AOL is way ahead of Microsoft-owned MSN Internet Access, in second place with 7m subscribers, while at number three is EarthLink with 4.8m paying customers. United Online – formed by the merger of Juno and NetZero – claims 6.1m active subscribers, though just 1.25m pay for the privilege.

In the broadband market EarthLink has forged an early lead, though AOL recently launched its own offering, subscriber numbers of which are not known.

News source: (US)