Update: New DSL service from Earthlink does not require extra phone service

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Atlanta (GA) – Earthlink today launched its “Freestanding DSL” service, which the company says does not require customers to sign up for separate local telephone service from their phone company.

According to Earthlink, its new DSL service is “the perfect money-saving solution for cell phone users who wish they could cut the cord.” In fact, the firm’s Freestanding DSL (also called “dry DSL”) service makes users independent from a phone service of local telephone service, as it simply requires a dead phone line to connect users to the Internet.

Earthlink indicated that savings resulting from this new service could amount to about $240 per year on available 1.5 Mb/s and 3.0 Mb/s connections, if users sign up for the $15 per month service (1.5 Mb/s). However, there is a catch and savings in the end may not be as significant, depending on the rate of a user’s local telephone service. The $15 per month rate only applies for the first six months of service, after that Earthlink will charge $40 (1.5 Mb/s) or $45 per month (3.0 Mb/s). The early termination penalty is $150 for the minimum one-year contract is.

The initial Freestanding DSL offering is available in Verizon territory, including parts of California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington state, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and Wisconsin.

 

Update

According to Earthlink representatives, the Freestanding DSL service connects to a customer’s “dead” phone line with the help of telecommunications provider Verizon. But instead of bringing the regular voice service online, the line will only be activated for data services. This scenario means that Verizon still earns money with every DSL customer, however, it is Earthlink that pays the bill and not the customer (who indirectly pays for Verizon’s data service through the Earthlink invoice).

The Freestanding DSL service is specifically marketed towards users who want to get rid of their main local phone line or a new generation of users who does not intend to subscribe to a local phone service anyway.