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Time Warner Communications has opened its Time Warner Cable system to EarthLink in Syracuse, N.Y., it reports today. The company last week launched multi-ISP service in Columbus, Ohio, with no fanfare or announcement.

EarthLink joins AOL and TWC's Road Runner high-speed Internet service on the systems.

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. The ISP told AOLTW that "their financial condition made it no longer possible," TWC spokesman Mike Luftman told CEDaily earlier this week.

He added that AOLTW has an agreement with Juno Online Service in front of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and is talking with "a number of other" ISPs, but would not say who those were.

TWC plans to 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," it says in a statement.

For its part, EarthLink says its Internet service will be available to TWC's 450,000 homes in Syracuse, with speeds up to 2 Mbps downstream and 384 kbps upstream. The service includes all of EarthLink's standard services, costs $41.95 initially, and will soon add a home networking service.

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