AOL Time Warner Cable will step up its multiple-ISP program as EarthLink launches service via AOLTW's Columbus, Ohio, and Syracuse, N.Y., systems in September.
The deal is part of AOLTW's merger agreement that says it will open its cable systems in each region to two or more competitors. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission must approve new ISPs within 90 days, the petition says.
Earlier this month, the FTC announced it was taking comments on AOLTW's request to take on High Speed Access Corp. and Juno Online Services Inc. as affiliate ISPs, and to do so at the same time it launches EarthLink's services.
FTC is taking comments on the agreements until July 31.
EarthLink says the two companies plan similar deals for other U.S. cities by the end of the year. EarthLink spokesman Kurt Rahn says the company isn't discussing which cities might be next, nor did he have a solid number on how many more would be launched by year's end.
EarthLink has been conducting trials in Columbus, "So it makes sense that's where we'd launch first," he says.