EarthLink, America's third-largest Internet service provider (ISP) with 5.4 million subscribers, announced plans to trial a broadband IP voice and data service bundle in partnership with Covad. The three-market trial is slated to begin in October in Dallas, TX, San Francisco and San Jose, CA, and Seattle, WA. Interestingly, all three are Comcast markets.
EarthLink will reportedly price the bundle at $70 per month for DSL Internet access and 'line powered' local and long-distance IP phone service with E-911 support.
The move comes as EarthLink's dial-up Internet business continues to dwindle. In the first quarter, the company's core dial-up business lost 186,000 subscribers, though EarthLink added 109,000 subscribers for its value-priced PeoplePC narrowband offering. EarthLink added 94,000 broadband customers in Q1, primarily through DSL and cable, yielding a total net subscriber gain of 17,000 for the quarter.