EarthLink Inc. and Time Warner Cable continued their joint trek into the multiple-ISP terrain, with the launch of EarthLink's Internet over TWC's Tampa Bay and Raleigh, N.C., service areas.
Under the deal, TWC's 1.4 million-home service area in seven counties in the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area get the option of a second ISP over TWC's cable system, and EarthLink says the system is available to about 760,000 homes in the Raleigh/Durham area.
The launches are the third and fourth in as many weeks — the two started service in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 17, and in Syracuse, N.Y., Sept. 26, making service available to 558,860 homes in Columbus and 450,000 homes in Syracuse.
The deal is part of the AOL Time Warner merger, which has stipulations requiring AOLTW to open its lines to three unaffiliated ISPs. 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.
TWC said last month it would add similar services in Tampa, Fla., and Raleigh, N.C., in October, and in a substantial number of TWC divisions by the end of the year.
EarthLink says the initial $41.95 monthly price covers speeds up to 2 Mbps downstream and 384 Kbps upstream.
AOL likewise announced it would launch on both systems. AOL representatives did not return phone calls by CEDaily's deadline and three TWC spokespersons were not available.