RealTime IT News

Top Notch ISP Doubles Broadband Base

EarthLink Inc. Monday proclaimed it attained a 100,000-broadband-customer milestone, effectively doubling its high-speed subscriber base since April.

The nation's top independent Internet service provider utilized a series of promotional campaigns to add 50,000 new broadband users to its core services in less than four months. EarthLink also expanded its broadband footprint from 30 cities to more than 60 U.S. markets in the same time frame.

The expanded service area, coupled with an aggressive series of digital subscriber line marketing campaigns fueled EarthLink's strong broadband growth.

Mike Lunsford, EarthLink executive vice president of broadband services, said its customer-centric approach continues to pay big dividends to the ISP.

"We've greatly increased the availability of our DSL self-installs to help get customers connected faster," Lunsford said. "We've made firewall software available to all of our broadband customers to ensure their online safety, and we've significantly reduced the cost of connecting via DSL."

In April EarthLink announced that it would waive all setup, equipment, and installation fees on its DSL service nationwide. The offer allows members to save up to $300 in initial fees when they sign up for EarthLink's $50 a month consumer service.

Next, the company launched an aggressive print and radio advertising campaign promoting availability of its self-install DSL kits in nine major markets. The splitterless install kits cut DSL provisioning time in half and the offer was extended nationwide. At the same time, EarthLink reduced its DSL access fees to less than $40 a month.

In August, EarthLink introduced a cross-platform nationwide broadband security solution for all new and existing DSL customers. By offering DSL subscribers free firewalling, the company provided a simple software barrier against unwelcome intrusion and heightened customer loyalty to its high-speed services.

EarthLink launched its national broadband rollout to Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas and Charlotte, NC in October 1999. The company forged agreements with Genuity Inc. and Sprint Corp. for national DSL network services.

EarthLink is the preferred ISP partner for Sprint, which co-brands the company's high-speed services under a program dubbed Sprint Broadband Direct. Over several years, Sprint has invested more than $431 million in EarthLink, accounting for a near 27 percent stake in the national ISP.

Based in Atlanta, EarthLink currently provides Internet access to more than 3.7 million users. In June, the company announced plans to acquire Virginia-based OneMain.com. The move extends EarthLink's services into rural and smaller metropolitan markets nationwide.