EarthLink also is building similar Wi-Fi networks in New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Milpitas, Calif. EarthLink also recently partnered with Google to submit a winning bid to provide free Wi-Fi to San Francisco. The Google-EarthLink bid beat out five other bidders--including CBG, MetroFi, NextWLAN, SF Metro Connect, and Razortooth Communications.
EarthLink also said late last week that DirecTV had agreed to buy Internet access at wholesale rates on the Wi-Fi networks that EarthLink currently is building, and to resell the service to retail customers.
AOL--which continues to lose dial-up subscribers--and EarthLink also reached what EarthLink characterized as a non-binding agreement to purchase wholesale Wi-Fi service and resell it to consumers. In addition, EarthLink said it is in talks with AOL to offer AOL.com content and Web assets on EarthLink's network.
In addition to Wi-Fi access, EarthLink also intends to offer broadband-over-power lines. Last month, Current Communications announced it had received $130 million in funding from a variety of investors, including EarthLink. The Germantown, Md.-based Current Communications is rolling out a network that provides broadband access through electric lines.