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Press Release -- August 2nd, 2011
Source: Earthlink
Tags: Equipment, ILEC, MPLS

EarthLink Acquires Business Vitals

Adds Tier IV Data Center and IT Security & Support Platform to EarthLink’s Managed Services

ATLANTA, GA — August 2, 2011 — EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ:ELNK, news, filings), a leading IP infrastructure and services company, completed its acquisition of Business Vitals, a national provider of managed information technology (IT), security and professional services based in Columbia, South Carolina. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition provides EarthLink with an additional Tier IV secure data center connected to its fiber network, a fully redundant Security Operations Center (SOC) and a broad set of security-centric IT outsourcing solutions.

With Business Vitals, EarthLink will enable clients to focus on core business issues by outsourcing the management of a broad range of IT operations, infrastructure and systems. Business Vitals brings to EarthLink additional IT security and professional services capabilities currently provided to businesses in the financial, retail, legal, engineering, manufacturing and healthcare industries as well as universities and government agencies. As a SAS70 Type II tested operation, Business Vitals supports clients in 35 states and 10 countries.

Combined with its recently launched EarthLink Cloud™ and existing managed services, this acquisition will allow EarthLink to rapidly offer a full range of secure IT solutions to business customers through its newly formed Premier, National, and partner distribution channels. The new Tier IV data center is connected to the EarthLink fiber network and to its other on-net regional data centers to provide cloud and disaster recovery services. These services will be supported by certified engineers in EarthLink’s Security Operations Center, IT Solutions Center, and Network Operations Centers.

“EarthLink is building a full range of managed IT services that focus on security as a key capability,” said Brian Fink, EarthLink Executive Vice President of Managed Services. “Business Vitals is an important extension of our managed services portfolio, and we will be actively leveraging the assets, capabilities and proven expertise we have acquired to enhance our national managed services business.”

Jeff Brewer, Chief Executive Officer of Business Vitals, joins EarthLink as Vice President of IT Solutions and Security. “Business Vitals has built a premier IT managed security services and IT risk management firm with a strong customer base. We are pleased to become part of EarthLink, which translates into more and better options for current and future clients,” added Brewer.

Cautionary Information Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes “forward-looking” statements (rather than historical facts) that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described. Although we believe that the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot promise that our expectations will turn out to be correct. Our actual results could be materially different from and worse than our expectations. With respect to such forward-looking statements, we seek the protections afforded by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These risks include (1) that we may not be able to execute our business strategy to transition to a leading IP infrastructure and managed services provider, which could adversely impact our results of operations and cash flows; (2) that we may be unsuccessful in making and integrating acquisitions into our business, which could result in operating difficulties, losses and other adverse consequences; (3) that the continuing effects of adverse economic conditions could harm our business; (4) that if we do not continue to innovate and provide products and services that are useful to individual subscribers and business customers, we may not remain competitive, and our revenues and operating results could suffer; (5) that our failure to implement cost reduction initiatives will adversely affect our results of operations; (6) that we will require a significant amount of cash, which may not be available to us, to service our debt and fund our other liquidity needs; (7) that we face significant competition in the Internet industry that could reduce our profitability; (8) that our consumer business is dependent on the availability of third-party network service providers; (9) that the continued decline of our consumer access subscribers, combined with the change in mix of our consumer access base from narrowband to broadband, will adversely affect our results of operations; (10) that our commercial and alliance arrangements may not be renewed or may not generate expected benefits, which could adversely affect our results of operations; (11) that privacy concerns relating to our business could damage our reputation and deter current and potential users from using our services; (12) that changes in technology in the Internet access industry could cause a decline in our business; (13) that we face significant competition in the communications industry that could reduce our profitability; (14) that decisions by the Federal Communications Commission relieving ILECs of certain regulatory requirements, and possible further deregulation in the future, may restrict our ability to provide services and may increase the costs we incur to provide these services; (15) that our wholesale services, including our broadband transport services, will be adversely affected by pricing pressure, network overcapacity, service cancellations and other factors; (16) that our operating performance will suffer if we are not offered competitive rates for the access services we need to provide our long distance services; (17) that we may experience reductions in switched access and reciprocal compensation revenue; (18) that our inability to maintain our network infrastructure, portions of which we do not own, could adversely affect our operating results; (19) that if we are unable to interconnect with AT&T, Verizon and other incumbent carriers on acceptable terms, our ability to offer competitively priced local telephone services will be adversely affected; (20) that we may not be able to compete effectively if we are unable to install additional network equipment or convert our network to more advanced technology; (21) that failure to obtain and maintain necessary permits and rights-of-way could interfere with our network infrastructure and operations; (22) that we may be unable to retain sufficient qualified personnel, and the loss of any of our key executive officers could adversely affect us; (23) that interruption or failure of our network and information systems and other technologies could impair our ability to provide our services, which could damage our reputation and harm our operating results; (24) that our business depends on effective business support systems and processes; (25) that government regulations could adversely affect our business or force us to change our business practices; (26) that our business may suffer if third parties used for customer service and technical support and certain billing services are unable to provide these services or terminate their relationships with us; (27) that we may not be able to protect our intellectual property; (28) that we may be accused of infringing upon the intellectual property rights of third parties, which is costly to defend and could limit our ability to use certain technologies in the future; (29) that if we, or other industry participants, are unable to successfully defend against legal actions, we could face substantial liabilities or suffer harm to our financial and operational prospects; (30) that we may be required to recognize additional impairment charges on our goodwill and intangible assets, which would adversely affect our results of operations and financial position; (31) that we may have to undertake further restructuring plans that would require additional charges, including incurring facility exit and restructuring charges; (32) that we may have exposure to greater than anticipated tax liabilities and the use of our net operating losses and certain other tax attributes could be limited in the future; (33) that we may reduce, or cease payment of, quarterly cash dividends; (34) that our stock price may be volatile; (35) that our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial health and limit our ability to react to changes in our industry; and (36) that provisions of our second restated certificate of incorporation, amended and restated bylaws and other elements of our capital structure could limit our share price and delay a change of management. These risks and uncertainties, as well as other risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ significantly from management’s expectations, are not intended to represent a complete list of all risks and uncertainties inherent in our business, and should be read in conjunction with the more detailed cautionary statements and risk factors included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010.

About EarthLink
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

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