Faced with greater competition and a maturing online audience, Internet and interactive services provider AOL has said it will lay off 1,300 workers at AOL customer service call centres in Arizona, Utah and Florida.

The company said it will close its ten-year-old First Coast Tech Parkway customer support facility in Jacksonville, Florida. Both the Arizona and Utah call centers will remain open. Nicholas Graham, an AOL spokesman, said: "As part of an ongoing process to better align our resources and continue to respond to a changing marketplace, AOL is reducing its call centre workforce by approximately 1,300 positions - all of which are taking place in our member services division."

The Jacksonville facility is being closed because member support call volume has fallen by 50 per cent due to the inclusion of additional AOL self-help tools and online assistance for AOL users, according to the company. The decreased number of support calls prompted the company "to rebalance our member services organization to make it more efficient, effective and responsive to the current needs of members and our business," he said.

AOL, a division of New York-based Time Warner Inc., said it has nearly 27 million members worldwide, including about 20 million members in the US.