EarthLink launches on TWC NE Ohio; weighs in on Q3

Wed, 10/24/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

Same names, different place. EarthLink Inc. launched over Time Warner Cable's system in Northeast Ohio, covering about 386,000 homes in Cleveland, Akron, Canton and surrounding areas.

The launch is the company's 11th on a TWC system since Sept. 17, when EarthLink debuted on TWC's 559,000-home system in Columbus, Ohio. That debut went without fanfare; the national situation would have made an announcement inappropriate, TWC spokesman Mike Luftman said at the the time. He also noted then that the company planned similar rollouts in its 20 largest cities as quickly as possible.

Since then, EarthLink has launched in 10 more cities via TWC systems, giving it access to about 6.4 million TWC customers so far. On Sept. 26, it opened to TWC's 450,000-home Syracuse, N.Y., system. Oct. 4, it debuted to 760,000 households in TWC's Raleigh/Durham, N.C., service area. That same day, EarthLink launched to about 1.4 million homes in TWC's seven-county Tampa Bay service area.

Rolling right along, EarthLink then opened Oct. 11 to TWC systems serving 600,000 in Cincinnati and 528,000 in Greensboro, N.C.; Oct. 16 to 525,000 homes in TWC's South Carolina system; Oct. 18 to 420,000 customers in TWC's Western Ohio division and 300,000 in Albany, N.Y.; and Oct. 22 to 474,000 homes in TWC' Rochester, N.Y., area.

AOLTW has started adding ISPs to its systems as a condition of the merger of AOL and Time Warner. In December 2000, the FTC approved terms of an order, designed to remedy anticompetitive effects of the merger. Among other points, the order requires AOLTW to bring on at least one nonaffilated cable broadband ISP service before AOL begins service, followed by two other nonaffiliated ISPs within 90 days, FTC says. It also must negotiate in good faith with others after that. In any case, the order says AOLTW can't interfere with content, signals or certain other components of its unaffiliated ISPs or iTV providers.

Under a motion filed Sept. 26, which the U.S. Federal Trade Commission released Oct. 5, AOLTW asked for approval of Dunedin, Fla.-based Internet Junction Corp. to provide cable broadband ISP service on its Tampa and Central Florida systems.

High Speed Access was a front contender, along with EarthLink, but in early September, HSA backed out of the contract. AOLTW has an agreement with Juno Online Service in front of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and is talking with other ISPs.

EarthLink says the initial $41.95 monthly price covers speeds up to 2 Mbps downstream and 384 Kbps upstream.

Separately, EarthLink EBITDA reached $1.5 million in its third quarter. Its net loss, before M&A costs, narrowed to $22.7 million, or 17 cents a share, for the quarter, compared with a net loss of $41.3 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago.

Total revenue rose to $319 million for the quarter, compared with $249 million a year ago. Of that, broadband access revenue accounted for $45.2 million in the last quarter, compared with $15.5 million for the same period last year.


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