The Independent and Independent on Sunday are now available electronically on AOL, the world's largest online service. America Online has more than 5 million subscribers in the US and is now expanding rapidly in Europe in partnership with the German Bertelsmann group.

Newspaper Publishing, publisher of the Independent and its shareholder Mirror Group are AOL's biggest media partners in Britain. The Daily Mirror is also available on the service.

Initial content will include the news, sport and business found in the front sections of the daily and Sunday papers. The rest of the content, including Network, will be added in a few weeks. Articles will gradually build up into a searchable archive. There is also an electronic discussion area.

AOL subscribers will have full access to the Net, including e-mail and the World Wide Web, as well as to proprietary products that include magazines, sports, travel, weather forecasts, stock market quotations and a range of forums.

The service costs pounds 5.95 a month, which includes five hours' use online, then pounds 1.85 for each extra hour. Anyone with a PC can order free AOL software - with 10 hours' free use - by ringing 0800 2791234. Mac software will be available later in the year. If you have AOL access, the keywords are Independent or Daily Mirror.

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