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PSINet goes after big business

The national ISP is unloading home consumers in favor of the corporate market.

For the third time in a month, Internet service provider PSINet has struck a deal to shed itself of residential and dial-up customers in its effort to turn its focus on the more lucrative corporate market.

Under the deal announced today, ISP EarthLink will get access to PSINet's backbone and any new consumer sales leads generated by PSINet. EarthLink, based in California, now provides dial-up Internet access to about 140,000 customers.

Those who use 28.8-kpbs modems or ISDN connections will now be able to use PSINet's network infrastructure, which has more than 230 points of presence in North America.

Financial terms of the unusual agreement were not disclosed, but it is similar to two other deals recently signed with regional ISPs MindSpring Enterprises and IDT.

In June, PSINet transferred 100,000 U.S. consumer accounts to Mindspring, keeping 20,000 international accounts. Signed one week later, the deal with IDT did not transfer accounts but gave the regional provider access to the PSINet backbone and rights to new consumer sales leads.

The series of deals has rid PSINet of most of its consumer subscribers, leaving them to focus on expanding its base of 12,000 corporate users. To capture more of the business market, the company will soon offer corporate intranet services, according to a spokesperson.

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