The worlds largest ISP is cutting off direct access to one of the oldest, coolest—and strangest—parts of the Internet.
America Online has quietly announced that it will discontinue providing member access to Usenet newsgroups next month.
In recent days, AOL subscribers who access keyword “Newsgroups” are greeted with a pop-up message informing them of the change: “Please Note: The AOL Newsgroup service will be discontinued in early 2005.”
According to a notice on AOLs Web site, the newsgroup shut-off will occur in February, severing subscribers from the thousands of discussion groups that make up Usenet.
AOL officials werent immediately available to explain the newsgroup shutdown. The ISPs pop-up message advises subscribers that newsgroup services are available from third-party providers.
The message also notes that users with separate high-speed connections may be able to arrange newsgroup access through their broadband provider. AOL users can read newsgroups over the Web using Google Groups, the message said.