EarthLink Delves into 802.11 with Boingo

By Thor Olavsrud

June 11, 2002

The ISP deals with the WISP founded by its chairman to offer EarthLink Wireless High Speed.

Fresh from its announced acquisition of PeoplePC Monday, EarthLink Inc. signaled its intentions to expand its presence in the wireless Internet arena through a deal with Boingo Wireless, founded in 2001 by EarthLink founder and chairman Sky Dayton.

Boingo powers hundreds of 802.11b hot spots in hotels, airports, cafes and other public and private areas across the country. Through the deal with Boingo, EarthLink plans to launch EarthLink Wireless High Speed.

The new service will include Boingo's free Wi-Fi software, which "sniffs" locations for available Wi-Fi signals and contains a database that allows users to search for the nearest available hot spot and access the Internet at speeds as high as 11 megabits per second.

The service will also include a built-in VPN for security.

"With Boingo Wireless, the higher speeds and growing prevalence of Wi-Fi networks takes EarthLink's PC-based high-speed wireless Internet experience to the next level, and the pricing points for EarthLink Wireless High Speed will entice more people to try the service and realize it's outstanding benefits," said Mike Lunsford, executive vice president of EarthLink's Everywhere and Customer Experience divisions.

EarthLink plans to offer the service through a three-tiered pricing plan. The "As You Go" plan gives access for $7.95 per connect day (which the ISP said includes unlimited sessions and traffic at a hot spot location for a 24 hour period). The "Pro" plan offers 10 connect days per month for $24.95. The top tier, the "Unlimited" access plan, offers unlimited access at $74.95 per month.

"There are a lot of natural synergies between EarthLink and Boingo -- both companies were founded on the principle of making it easy to connect to the Internet so it becomes more relevant in people's daily lives," said Dave Hagan, president of Boingo Wireless. "This cutting-edge service gives people the tools to effortlessly establish a high-speed Internet connection from hundreds of locations outside their office -- making it easy to take their office applications on the road with them."



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