EarthLink Inc. expanded its home-networking service from DSL to offering it to customers with cable connections. The company launched in more than 20 Time Warner Cable systems last year and plans to launch in 18 more by mid-2002.
The wired version of the service uses a home's standard phone wiring or Ethernet to network PCs, peripherals and Internet appliances without any added wiring, it says. The wireless version adds the ability to connect several computers in a home using an integrated WiFi (802.11b) network. Gateway hardware offers a commercial-grade firewall protection, the company says.
The gateway hardware is free under a promotion EarthLink will hold through this month. The free hardware renders the wired service version free by eliminating upfront costs, and cuts initial costs of wireless service to $150 — or $50 off and a $99.95 rebate. The networking service is $9.95 a month.
EarthLink has 471,000 subscribers for its high-speed Internet service, which is offered through cable, DSL and two-way satellite, the company says.
Separately, EarthLink launched its service to 300,000 homes in Time Warner Cable' Austin, Texas, service area. AOL likewise launched on the system. Under mandates from the Federal Trade Commission, stemming from AOL's merger with Time Warner, AOLTW must open its systems to multiple ISPs. AOL may be one of those, but only after another, independent, one has launched.