RealTime IT News

Nationwide EarthLink DSL Rollout Gets Underway

EarthLink Network, Inc. made good on its pledge to deliver nationwide digital subscriber line (DSL) services this week.

The national Internet service provider successfully launched DSL services in New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas and Charlotte, N.C. late Thursday.

EarthLink (ELNK) forged deals with GTE and UUNET to make its national DSL network a reality. Regional agreements have also been made with Pacific Bell and Sprint Communications Co. to further extend Earthlink's DSL footprint. Over the next year, these pacts will allow EarthLink to offer consumer DSL Internet access to a large percentage of the country.

Jon Irwin, EarthLink senior vice president of broadband services, said EarthLink members are some of the most active online users in the industry, using the Internet 42 hours per month on average, so the lure of faster connections is strong.

"Since we first started working with high-speed technologies, our members have shown incredible interest in upgrading from their dial-up connections," Irwin said. "We have some of the most voracious Internet users in the industry, and our members have been quick to embrace the extra speed of broadband."

In addition to the four major metropolitan markets already receiving EarthLink DLS access, the company plans to expand its service into Minneapolis, Boston, San Francisco and San Diego over the next quarter.

Irwin said the plan was to launch DSL services to as many markets as possible in order to win the hearts and minds of broadband users nationwide.

"We want to offer our members DSL as quickly as possible in as many places as possible," Irwin said. "We've put in a lot of work and preparation into providing widespread DSL coverage to our members over the last year, and now it's starting to pay off for them. And this is just the beginning."

EarthLink Sprint DSL Internet service starts at $50 a month, and includes the cost of the DSL line into the home or business. Download speeds, installation costs and hardware vary according to the local telephone company used by the subscriber.