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EarthLink rolls out on two more TWC systems

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

EarthLink Inc. rolled out its high-speed service in two more of Time Warner Cable's areas. The ISP has launched in four other TWC markets in the past month, as part of AOL Time Warner's efforts to comply with open access rules connected with its merger.

EarthLink says its service is available now to about 527,535 homes in TWC's Greensboro, N.C., service area and to 600,000 in TWC's Cincinnati, Ohio, system.

The company says the initial $41.95 monthly price covers speeds up to 2 Mbps downstream and 384 kbps upstream.

Oct. 4, the two announced EarthLink's launch in TWC's 1.4 million-home service area in seven counties in the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area, and in the 760,000-home Raleigh/Durham area.

The two also 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.

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, that 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.

TWC said it plans other such launches on systems in a substantial number of divisions by the end of the year.

According to the rules, TWC has also launched AOL's high-speed broadband services on systems in the first four areas. It announced today that the service opened on its systems in Greensboro and Cincinnati.

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