AOL, Earthlink Working With Cox in Broadband Trials

America Online, Inc., Earthlink and other Internet service providers (ISPs) are working with Cox Communications, Inc., to test the feasibility of rolling out multiple ISPs over Cox’s broadband network. The six-month trial with AOL allow Cox and AOL to test the service with the option of negotiating a definitive open access agreement.

During the trial, scheduled to begin in the third quarter, AOL and Cox will work together to develop and roll out the high-speed AOL Plus Internet service over the Cox cable network in the company’s El Dorado, Ark., cable system. Cox earlier announced that Earthlink will participate in the trial.

“We are very pleased to be working with AOL in this important trial. We are eager to explore the technical feasibility of offering more than one ISP on our network, potentially providing our customers multiple choices in high-speed Internet service,” said Dallas Clement, senior vice president of strategy and business development for Cox.

Lou Borrelli, AOL’s senior vice president for broadband, added “We are very pleased to join Cox in this important trial. At America Online, we are committed to making it as easy and convenient as possible for consumers to get the AOL service they love, whenever, wherever and however they want it. We look forward to adding high-speed cable to the list of ways in which AOL members can access their accounts.”

The nation’s fifth largest cable television company, Cox Communications serves approximately 6.2 million customers nationwide. The Atlanta-based Cox offers an array of services, including Cox Cable; local and long distance telephone services under the Cox Digital Telephone brand; high-speed Internet access under the brands [email protected], Road Runner and Cox Express; advanced digital video programming services under the Cox Digital Cable brand; and commercial voice and data services via Cox Business Services.

Cox is an investor in telecommunications companies including Sprint PCS and [email protected], as well as programming networks including Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, Outdoor Life and Speedvision.

The Dulles, Va.-based AOL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner .

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