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EarthLink Unveils EarthLink Biz

Small businesses gained an Internet partner Tuesday as Internet service provider EarthLink, Inc. officially launched its new business services branch, dubbed EarthLink Biz.

The new business services area builds on the recently merged MindSpring Enterprises, Inc. small business service model by combining a variety of popular EarthLink (ELNK) and MindSpring (MSPG) small business resources.

EarthLink Biz focuses on helping small businesses tap Internet sales, marketing and communications opportunities. The service allows small businesses to concentrate on their commerce, rather than technology issues, the companies said.

Michael Ihde, EarthLink Biz vice president of sales, said EarthLink Biz would function as a separate business arm, with its own strategies, staff and objectives.

"Breaking EarthLink Biz out as a stand-alone area underscores our commitment to serving the small business market as effectively as we serve the consumer market," Ihde said.

"Being able to combine the considerable resources and award-winning services offered previously by MindSpring and EarthLink puts us in a leadership position right out of the gate. And we plan to drive relentlessly toward the No. 1 spot," Ihde added.

EarthLink Biz offers a full slate of products and services designed to accommodate the growth small businesses may experience with the launch of a successful Internet presence. It offers connectivity through 5,000 local dial-up numbers, as well as Digital Subscriber Line, cable, frame relay and ISDN services.

Starter Web sites may be quickly and easily set-up and expanded to accommodate e-commerce storefront capabilities, allowing for additional storage space and increased Web traffic.

EarthLink currently providers Internet access to more than 3.1 million individuals and businesses in the U.S. Based in Atlanta, EarthLink provides a Web hosting and e-commerce solutions to thousands of communities internationally from more than 5,000 points-of-presence.