ATLANTA, GA — June 9, 2011 — EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ:ELNK, news, filings), a leading IP infrastructure and services company, today announced completion of Phase II of the Eastern Tennessee Middle Mile Fiber Broadband Project by its business communications segment EarthLink BusinessTM. In March, 2010, DeltaCom, Inc., now an EarthLink Business company, was awarded the $9.4 million in federal stimulus funding by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) to enable the network expansion.
The Phase Two network expansion includes deployment of a new 131-mile diverse fiber optic route from Knoxville, Tennessee to Bristol, Tennessee. Point of Presence (POP) sites along the route include: Knoxville, TN; Morristown, TN; Johnson City, TN; and Bristol, TN. The network expansion is now available for SONET Transport Service, opening new wholesale markets in East Tennessee for the EarthLink CarrierTM division.
The Final Phase of the project, targeted for completion in the third quarter of 2011, will add five new ILEC interconnection points, including Cookeville, Oak Ridge, Cleveland, Sweetwater and Morristown, Tennessee, which are located in counties designated as underserved by Connected Tennessee, an independent non-profit organization that develops and implements effective strategies for technology deployment, use and literacy in Tennessee. Upon completion, EarthLink will market its full suite of business communications services in these markets.
Completion of Phase I of the network expansion was announced in March, and included a 343-mile overbuild of an existing diverse fiber optic route from Nashville to Knoxville, and the addition of a new diverse fiber optic route from Knoxville to Chattanooga.
Upon completion, the new network will enable broadband access for a number of core community institutions, including education and healthcare providers, and will also allow Internet Service Providers to connect to EarthLink's world class IP network.
EarthLink’s fiber broadband expansion in Tennessee is part of its overall strategy to expand network coverage to provide nationwide connectivity for businesses with locations across the U.S.
"As we complete another crucial phase in this project, we are eager to provide increased connectivity options for a region that has been traditionally underserved," said Jim O’Brien, EarthLink Business Executive Vice President of Network Services and Customer Operations. "Providing the means for more effective technology deployment will allow institutions such as medical facilities to enhance healthcare delivery and better serve their constituencies. The improved access may also stimulate job creation in these areas by enabling businesses to expand operations with more robust access."
When complete, this Federal grant funded project will comprise a fiber optic network of more than 500 miles in Eastern Tennessee which will provide middle mile broadband services to carrier customers, community anchor institutions, and last mile service providers in speeds up to 10Gbps.
EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK) is a leading provider of Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure and services to medium-sized and large businesses, enterprise organizations and over 1.5 million consumers across the United States. The company has been providing Internet access and communications services for decades and has earned an award-winning reputation for both outstanding customer service and product innovation. For consumers, EarthLink is a leading Internet Service Provider connecting people to the power and possibilities of the Internet. EarthLink Business™ provides voice, data, mobile and equipment services over a 28,000 mile fiber network and MPLS-based services nationwide. For more information, visit EarthLink's website www.earthlink.net.