EarthLink hooks onto Staples

The ISP is partnering with the office store chain to market its Internet services. Customers in certain stores can use kiosks to sign up for high-speed Web access.

Internet service provider EarthLink on Wednesday said it will sell its services through 1,100 Staples office supply stores across the United States.

Dial-up offerings are available now at the Staples stores. Customers also can sign up for high-speed access via kiosks at select stores. The retailer is offering seasonal promotions and in-store merchandising of EarthLink products.

An increasing number of Internet service providers are using retail chains to market their products. Last week, SBC Communications and Yahoo said they plan to set up kiosks displaying SBC Yahoo service in 2,000 locations including RadioShack, OfficeMax, Staples, Sam's Club and Gateway Country stores. Broadband service provider Comcast also has linked up with Staples to promote its high-speed offering.

EarthLink said its offerings will include an Accelerator program, which allows Web pages, most graphics and photos, Web-based e-mail and HTML e-mails to load faster, as well as tools to block spam and pop-up ads.