Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Earthlink: Reborn? Revamped??

DSL Reports writes about EarthLink:

Earthlink, who has been trying to migrate customers from dial-up, but lost mandatory access rights to incumbent networks, has been working on re-establishing itself for the broadband revolution (LA Times). That has included investing millions in some questionable projects (like Ambient BPL), but also some promising ventures (like muni-Fi). They're also hoping that Covad's line powered voice will help them offer competitive DSL/voice bundles.

They forgot about ELN buying NewEdge Network and the Helio venture with SK. EarthLink has always been a Marketing company. The network was leased. So how do you go from Marketing to building, managing, and maintaining networks - both wireless and wired? Motorola will probably build (and manage?) the wireless network. "Motorola will provide engineering and integrations services, supply Canopy systems for backhaul, and use Tropos Networks equipment for the Wi-Fi Mesh." As I tell my clients being a network provider is extremely different from being a service provider. At least in the Helio (formerly known as SK-Erathlink), an MVNO deal, EarthLink gets to stick to its forte: Marketing.

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