Remember EarthLink? ISP signs 4G deal with Clearwire

The two companies make a deal that enables EarthLink customers to access wireless high-speed Internet via Clearwire's network.

EarthLink can now offer its Internet customers a high-speed connection through Clearwire's 4G broadband network, the companies announced today.

The agreement allows EarthLink customers to access the service through Clearwire, which runs its own 4G WiMax network. The deal also opens the door to Clearwire's planned 4G LTE network, the companies said in a statement.

EarthLink was a major player in the late 1990s as one of the largest Internet service providers supplying dial-up Web access. But as consumers moved to broadband services largely provided by the big telcos and cable companies, the company saw its user base deteriorate.

Now, the company is looking to mobile broadband. The service, expected to launch in early 2013, will initially only be available for in-home consumer use. EarthLink hopes to expand the service to mobile devices and small business customers.

Michael Toplisek, executive vice president of products and marketing for EarthLink, said customers increasingly associate broadband services with wireless services.

"The 4G broadband speeds and urban and suburban network focus aligns well with our long-term strategy for growing our customer base," he said in a statement.

The two companies are expected to extend their agreement when Clearwire's new 4G LTE network is ready.

Featured Video