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Earthlink Pushes New Dial-Up Services

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, February 13, 2003

Is dial-up dead? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. AOL, MSN and EarthLink, the numbers 1,2 and 3 Internet service providers... have all been seeing more and more of their dial-up customers depart for faster broadband connections. But EarthLink narrowband marketing VP Rob Kaiser says the company still hopes to win new subscribers and retain existing customers by adding new features...

"The Internet is kind of like a rose and we're trying to pull the thorns off of them. Intrusive advertising is one of them. We started with a pop-up blocker, we're going to be enhancing that, taking care of rich media. We'll also have enhanced spam blocking which will block virtually 100 percent of all spam. We're talking about virus protection, we're talking about privacy protection by dealing with spyware. And we're enhancing some parental controls and creating an integrated email experience."

Earthlink, however, recently announced plans to axe 13 hundred jobs... 25 percent of its workforce. A move that could cause some customer service concerns...

"Well coming to that decision wasn't easy. Support has always been a key differentiator for EarthLink and it will continue to be so."

Time will tell. EarthLink has been forming partnerships to offer broadband and wireless Internet access. And its flexibility could make it the one company to eventually offer a so far elusive package... of Internet access wired or wireless... anytime, anywhere. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.