RealTime IT News

EarthLink Inks HP Distribution Deal

EarthLink Inc. Internet services will be featured on Hewlett-Packard Co.'s personal computer line up just in time for the forthcoming holiday sales surge.

The nation's second largest Internet service provider Thursday struck a national distribution deal with Hewlett-Packard , allowing consumers easy access to EarthLink's Internet services when they plug-in their new personal computer system.

The deal puts EarthLink in a premier partner position as the leading ISP featured across all HP Pavilion home personal computer sales channels.

John Kortier, EarthLink vice president of channel sales, said the two companies share a commitment to providing customers with quality products and services.

"Through expanded distribution in Hewlett-Packard's sales channels, we will target an estimated 43 percent of the 14 million U.S. households that plan to purchase a new home PC and get online," Kortier said.

Sam Szteinbaum, Hewlett-Packard North America consumer computing business manager, said consumer demand for Internet access continues to be the primary motivation for buying a new personal.

"A direct link to the Internet is among the top reasons why people purchase home personal computers," Szteinbaum said.

Customers who sign up for EarthLink Internet service will receive 30 days of free Internet service, with no start-up fees. New subscribers will have access to a co-branded Hewlett-Packard, EarthLink personal start page that is easy for members to customize to suit their personal tastes.

The companies indicated that additional incentive offers and cooperative marketing efforts that would be initiated later this year.

EarthLink currently provides Internet services to more than 4.2 million users in the U.S. The company recently picked up Reston, Virginia-based ISP OneMain.com in a move that extended its services into rural and smaller metropolitan areas nationwide and added OneMain.com's 762,000 subscribers to EarthLink's subscriber base.