The United States' third-largest ISP plans to make the 1,300 job cuts in "technical support and customer service," the company said in a statement posted on its Web site. It currently employs about 5,100 people.
In the statement, the ISP said it plans to close call centers in Dallas, in Sacramento, Calif., and in Seattle from Feb. 21 to March 23. A facility in Pasadena, Calif., will also be shut down, though the company did not disclose a schedule for this.
"We are regularly faced with new business challenges in an increasingly competitive environment," EarthLink CEO Garry Betty told employees in an e-mail message seen by CNET News.com. "To be successful, we must continually evaluate our business alternatives and be willing to make the decisions necessary to ensure the long-term growth and profitability of EarthLink."
In recent months, EarthLink hasmomentum in its core dial-up business while concentrating heavily on broadband, and critics have questioned whether it has lost the tight focus on quality that established its original reputation.
Last year, the company reported dial-up subscriptions decreased 245,000, or 6 percent, in the third quarter of 2002 compared with the same period the previous year. During the same period, broadband sign-ups grew from an average of 387,000 to 642,000. EarthLink said it had about 4.8 million customers overall.
Rival ISPsand Microsoft's both have more subscribers than EarthLink.
said in its statement that it planned to transfer customer inquiries normally handled by the affected facilities to call centers in Atlanta, Harrisburg, Pa., and Roseville, Calif. The cuts should lower its spending by more than $20 million.
EarthLink closed a Phoenix call center last year, eliminating 250 jobs.