Copyright 2003 The Denver Post Corporation
The Denver Post
July 23, 2003 Wednesday FINAL EDITION
Earthlink Inc., the nation’s third-largest Internet service provider, announced Tuesday it cinched a deal to resell Qwest’s high-speed Internet service under its own brand.
“Just (Monday) night, we signed an agreement with Qwest to give access for Earthlink to 2.5 million additional households,” Earthlink chief executive Gary Betty told analysts on a conference call Tuesday.
The deal comes in two parts.
Atlanta-based Earthlink will market and resell Qwest’s DSL service under the Earthlink brand in Qwest’s 14-state territory. Earthlink already reaches 3.9 million homes in that territory through deals with other DSL providers such as Covad Communications.
Denver-based Qwest, in turn, will handle all Internet communications from those Earthlink customers on its global, fiber-optic communications network. Neither side would disclose financial details about the deal.
Earthlink already has a marketing deal with Qwest for dial-up Internet service. The new deal will allow Earthlink to upgrade those customers to DSL.
Jed Kolko, an analyst with Forrester Research in San Francisco, described the Qwest deal as typical of Earthlink’s resale pacts. “It appeals to customers already loyal to Earthlink because they have used Earthlink as their dial-up ISP,” Kolko said.
Qwest announced a similar deal with Microsoft Network in May 2002.
Qwest’s stock closed Tuesday at $ 4.43, up 2 cents. Earthlink’s stock closed at $ 7.43, up 10 cents.