|Traded as||NASDAQ: ELNK|
|Industry||IT Services, Cloud computing, ISP & Communications|
|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, USA|
|Key people||Rolla Huff, Bradley Ferguson, James P. O'Brien, Michael D. Toplisek|
|Products||IT services, Business high speed Internet and voice services, Cloud hosting, Consumer ISP,|
|Revenue||US$1.216 billion (2007)|
|Website||EarthLink Business, EarthLink Cloud, EarthLink.net|
- 1 Business
- 2 History
- 2.1 Early Years
- 2.2 EarthLink Goes Public, Hits 1 Million Members
- 2.3 MindSpring Merger, Growing Product Portfolio
- 2.4 New Ventures: Municipal Wi-Fi, Helio, VoIP, New Edge Networks
- 2.5 CEO Changes
- 2.6 Company Restructures
- 2.7 New EarthLink Business Division, Business Acquisitions
- 2.8 EarthLink Business Network and Data Center Expansion
- 3 Awards and Recognition
- 4 Reed Slatkin
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 External links
As of 2012, EarthLink operates two distinct divisions: EarthLink Business Services and EarthLink Consumer Services.
EarthLink Business Services include connectivity (MPLS, T-1, DS3, DSL, Ethernet, Wireless), IT services (Cloud Hosting, virtualization, Data and Voice CPE, IT Security, Managed Services, ASP Web Hosting), and wholesale services (fiber capacity and network services). The company owns and operates a U.S. network including 29,421 route miles of fiber, 90 metro fiber rings, and 8 data centers. The network covers over 90 percent of the country. EarthLink Business Services provides IT and IP services for more than 150,000 customers.
EarthLink Consumer Services include Broadband (DSL, Freestanding DSL, Cable Internet, Satellite Internet), Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) phone services, dial-up Internet, Web Hosting and ecommerce, and related services such as software. EarthLink provides Internet services to over 1 million homes.
EarthLink was co-founded in March 1994 by Sky Dayton at age 23, investor Reed Slatkin and Kevin M. O'Donnell. Dayton reportedly was inspired to start the dial-up Internet service provider (ISP) in Los Angeles after spending an entire week trying to configure his own computer for Internet access. Dayton’s experience convinced him that there was a market for a simple, user-friendly ISP.
Co-founder Kevin M. O'Donnell helped raise capital for the exploding communication venture and urged a number of significant old friends from his Government Technology days to join the Board. His enthusiasm garnered the recruitment of numerous Vice Presidents in the company, as well as, and most significantly, bringing in the first major round of funding from Greg B. Abbott (a successful entrepreneur and former CEO of Ithaca Industries), as well as the hiring of CEO Garry Betty
By 1995, EarthLink offered nationwide dial-up service (98 cities) and was the first ISP to offer unlimited Internet access for a flat rate.
In 1996, EarthLink began to offer Internet services for businesses, including ISDN and frame relay Internet access and web hosting. In October, EarthLink was named “Internet Company of the Year” by the Southern California Software Industry Council.
EarthLink Goes Public, Hits 1 Million Members
EarthLink went public on NASDAQ in January 1997. Later that year, the company began to provide 56K dial-up access, doubling speed of its dial-up service. EarthLink also teamed up with Charter Communications to offer high-speed cable Internet access.
MindSpring Merger, Growing Product Portfolio
Later that year, the company launched EarthLink Biz DSL service and won PC World’s World Class Award for Best ISP. EarthLink also acquired OneMain.com, a large, rural ISP, and Rural Connections in 2001.
On June 10, 2002, EarthLink acquired PeoplePC, a value-priced dial-up ISP.
The company also won several awards in 2002. EarthLink was named Top ISP by CNet for the 3rd consecutive year and received a 5-star rating from Smart Business. And in August 2002, J.D. Power and Associates ranked EarthLink Dial-Up Highest in Customer Satisfaction. EarthLink High-Speed tied for the Highest in Customer Satisfaction ranking.
EarthLink launched a VoIP phone service for broadband users called Unlimited Voice in April 2003. In August, J.D. Power and Associates ranked EarthLink High Speed Highest in Customer Satisfaction for the second consecutive year. The company also released several free tools for its members to block spam, viruses, and spyware.
In September 2004, J.D. Power and Associates ranked both EarthLink Dial-Up and EarthLink High Speed Highest in Customer Satisfaction. EarthLink Dial-Up also received the PC Magazine Readers’ Choice Award for the second year in a row.
New Ventures: Municipal Wi-Fi, Helio, VoIP, New Edge Networks
At the start of 2005, EarthLink and SK Telecom, the largest mobile phone company in South Korea, announced a new joint venture called SK-EarthLink, which would become the Helio mobile phone company. Helio, a new MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, targeted young, tech-savvy consumers with advanced wireless devices and services common in Korea but not the U.S. Helio launched a total of 7 phones (Kickflip, Hero, Drift, Heat, Ocean, Fin and Mysto) and had 170,000 subscribers before it was sold to Virgin Mobile USA in June 2008.
In July 2005, EarthLink announced that it was closing its last in-house call centers to reduce costs, deciding to rely entirely on outsourced technical support and customer service.
In September, 2005, Earthlink acquired Aluria Software, LLC-an industry leader in the production of Anti-Spyware software based in Lake Mary, Florida. Founded in 1999 & a proven leader in the industry, Aluria Software had been the Anti-Spyware provider for America Online since 2003.
In October 2005, Philadelphia, PA, and Anaheim, CA, selected EarthLink to build their municipal Wi-Fi networks. EarthLink's Municipal Networks division would launch public wi-fi networks in Anaheim, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Milpitas, CA, and win several more municipal contracts before EarthLink decided to exit the muni wi-fi business by the end of 2007.
EarthLink launched two new voice services between late 2005 and early 2006: a stand-alone VoIP service called EarthLink trueVoice and a high-speed Internet and voice bundle called EarthLink DSL & Home Phone Service.
In April 2006, EarthLink acquired New Edge Networks, a provider of network and communication services for businesses. In June, the EarthLink’s Municipal Networks division launched the company’s first citywide Wi-Fi network in Anaheim, CA.
On November 21, 2006, EarthLink reported in a press release that its CEO, Garry Betty, had been diagnosed with a serious form of cancer which would have required him to take an undetermined leave of absence. The company's Board of Directors named Mike Lunsford, Vice-President of Voice and Access, as interim CEO. Betty died on January 2, 2007. On June 25, 2007, EarthLink named Rolla Huff its President and CEO. On January 29, 2008, EarthLink announced that Rolla Huff would replace Robert Kavner as Chairman of the Board.
In October 2006, EarthLink reported its first quarterly loss in more than 2½ years. Revenue from dial-up customers dropped 16.8 percent as the company lost 320,000 of those customers from the previous year. The company predicted another loss in the fourth quarter of 2006 of $15–$25 million due to investment in Helio.
In response to increased budgetary concerns, new EarthLink CEO Rolla Huff began a major restructuring in August 2007. The company planned to lay off approximately 900 employees, consolidate offices, and withdraw from several product lines. The restructuring helped EarthLink return to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2007, posting free cash flow of $59 million and $71 million of EBITDA for the quarter.
In September, J.D. Power and Associates again ranked both EarthLink Dial-Up and EarthLink High Speed Highest in Customer Satisfaction (High Speed ranking is in 2 of 4 regions).
New EarthLink Business Division, Business Acquisitions
By 2010, EarthLink CEO Rolla Huff was restructuring the company to focus on IT, network and communication services for businesses, launching its EarthLink Business division and making several large business acquisitions to bolster the new division.
In October, EarthLink announced its acquisition of ITC Deltacom, a telecom service provider with 32,000 small and mid-sized business customers, along with enterprise, government agency and wholesale customers.
In March 2011, EarthLink also acquired STS Telecom, a privately held business providing voice, data and internet services to small to medium-sized business customers in Florida and Georgia. STS Telecom was integrated into the new EarthLink Business division, along with the recently acquired One Communications and Deltacom, New Edge Networks, and EarthLink’s legacy Business Solutions.
In May 2011, the company created a new EarthLink Carrier division to serve wholesale customers with fiber-based transport, voice and data service, and switched services.
Also in May, EarthLink acquired LogicalSolutions.net, an enterprise data center solution and cloud services provider.
In August, EarthLink acquired Business Vitals, a national provider of managed IT security, and professional services, in an effort to complement its cloud hosting services. EarthLink also acquired xDefenders, a managed IT security company.
EarthLink closed 2011 with another business-related acquisition, completing the purchase of the IT Solution Center and cloud-based application business from Synergy Global Solutions.
In July, 2013, EarthLink acquired CenterBeam, Inc., a provider of remote managed IT services -- with an IT Support Center providing help desk, desktop technical support and application support services -- to expand EarthLnk’s IT services portfolio and extend the services nationwide in conjunction with its cloud, security and network connectivity solutions.
EarthLink Business Network and Data Center Expansion
In 2012 the company expanded and upgraded its network infrastructure. The network expansion included major transport network builds, new OC-192 10 Gigabit Ethernet fiber rings, additional high-speed access points for private VoIP network traffic, nationwide IP MPLS and EVDO wireless network expansions, and high-capacity fiber rings for its enterprise-class data centers.
In October 2012, EarthLink announced additional plans to extend its core fiber IP network, add four enterprise-class data centers and launch its next-generation cloud hosting platform in 2013.
To interconnect its expanded data center footprint, EarthLink is extending its fiber network and adding next-generation optical transport capabilities from Miami, FL to Virginia. The company is also increasing network capacity in current markets including Ashburn, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Orlando; adding seven new markets including Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston; and building its fiber network into Texas. The additional capacity will allow EarthLink to offer new native 100 Gig transport services across a diverse fiber footprint, with unique network routes for enhanced redundancy and network diversity.
In July, 2013, EarthLink completed its previously announced plans to open four new data centers in San Jose, Chicago, Dallas and Miami on its next-generation cloud platform. Combined with its data centers in Pittsford, NY; Marlborough, MA; Columbia, SC and Atlanta, EarthLink now operates eight data centers linked to its nationwide IP network.
Awards and Recognition
- EarthLink ranked 15th among the world's Top 25 Fastest Growing Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) in Nine Lives Media's Talkin' Cloud 100 report - July, 2013
- EarthLink won the 2013 North American Business Connectivity Award from ATLANTIC-ACM - June, 2013
- CenterBeam, an EarthLink Business company, won a Silver Stevie® award from the American Business Awards (ABA) in June, 2013.
- EarthLink Hosted Voice was named 2012 Product of the Year by INTERNET TELEPHONY.
- EarthLink Business Cloud Hosting won the 2012 Cloud Computing Excellence Award from Cloud Computing Magazine.
- EarthLink's nationwide, private, blended-access MPLS network was awarded a 2012 Next Generation Networks Leadership Award by Internet Telephony and Next Gen Mobility magazines.
- EarthLink Complete Hosted Voice and EarthLink Complete MPLS were awarded Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award for 2012 by TMC.
- The EarthLink Complete Hosted Voice and EarthLink Complete SIP Trunking were recipients of TMCnet's 2011 Internet Telephony Product of the Year Award for Innovation.
In 2002, when co-founder Reed Slatkin's Ponzi scheme made headlines, EarthLink released a statement: "The legal proceedings concerning ex-Board member Reed Slatkin do not involve or impact EarthLink or EarthLink funds. The proceedings involve Mr. Slatkin and his personal clients."
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- EarthLink Business (IT, IP, Communication)
- EarthLink (Consumer Internet Services)
- EarthLink Cloud (Cloud Hosting)
- EarthLink Web Hosting
- Business data
- EarthLink, Inc. at Google Finance
- EarthLink, Inc. at Yahoo! Finance
- EarthLink, Inc. at Hoover's
- EarthLink, Inc. at Reuters
- EarthLink, Inc. SEC filings at the Securities and Exchange Commission