12:33 PM

EarthLink Offers Freestanding DSL For $14.95 A Month

The EarthLink offerings are expected to have a competitive impact on similar services provided by Verizon and AT&T.

EarthLink on Tuesday began offering a new standalone DSL service package it says will deliver Internet connections at speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps.

Dubbed "Freestanding DSL," the service is available for $14.95 a month in select locations. A more robust 3.0-Mbps Freestanding DSL will be offered for $19.95 a month, EarthLink said.

Low-priced DSL is normally offered only as part of a package in which consumers are required to purchase local telephone service and sometimes cable TV. EarthLink has a lower-priced six-month DSL package available, but only when bundled with other services. EarthLink's announcement comes just days after Rolla Huff took over the CEO position at EarthLink.

"Up until now, many consumers wanting to purchase DSL without the cost of a local phone line had no cost-effective solution," said Kevin Brand, EarthLink's senior VP of access, in a statement. "Freestanding DSL is a perfect solution for cord-cutters who want more choice and lower monthly bills."

AT&T has been offering naked DSL for $10 a month with speeds of 768 Kbps, but the company has not publicized the deal. The AT&T offering was required by the Federal Communications Commission when it approved AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth.

The EarthLink naked DSL offerings could have a competitive impact on Verizon, which has been deploying a package of high-speed Internet, telephone calling, and cable TV via its branded "FiOS" offering.

EarthLink said its initial offering for Freestanding DSL will cross over in some areas currently served by Verizon Communications, including parts of California; Florida; Illinois; Indiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; Washington state; Washington, D.C.; West Virginia; and Wisconsin.

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