EarthLink Offers Extra for SMB Customers

EarthLink , the third-largest Internet service provider in the United States, is offering its dial-up, broadband and hosting subscribers free Web site building software.

The template-based tool, designed by Interland subsidiary Trellix, is designed to help users create a “business-grade Web sites in under an hour.”

“This offering . . . is the latest move in our continuing effort to be the ISP of choice for small and medium businesses,”
said Erika Jolly, a spokeswoman for Atlanta-based EarthLink.

EarthLink said the Trellix offering helps bring a full line of services to business customers. Other offerings include broadband service, domain registration, and Web hosting.

The application, which doesn’t require a user to know HTML or install extra software, can also be used for personal Web sites and can accomodate photos, videos, graphical images and music.

But small and medium businesses typically contract for a higher level of service than consumers, generating more revenue.
ISPs, as well as software and hardware vendors have been aggressively pursuing the SMB market as orders from large corporate customers continue to lag.

Adding new features and packages has become a strategy to woo new subscribers and retain existing ones. For example, Verizon and SBC recently announced plans to offer wireless access as part of DSL subscriptions and AT&T is offering deals on Web hosting.

For Concord, Mass.-based Trellix the deal makes its software available to nearly 5 million potential users. EarthLink is the third-largest ISP in the United States — behind only AOL and MSN.

It already counts another large provider Terra Lycos as a customer.

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