EarthLink Extends Retail Push

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ISP EarthLink unveiled a deal Thursday with Best Buy that would give the retail giant the ability to sell Earthlink's complete portfolio of dial-up and high-speed services in its stores.

Megan Smith, director of retail sales at EarthLink, said consumer products are now becoming more Internet-ready.

"We can help [retail outlets] sell these products because we become an enabling technology for them," she said. "Just think of the cameras and home-networking and gaming equipment that have hit the market in the past few years."

Smith said there is also an opportunity for VARs and other solution providers to sell and private-label the ISP's services. "We are always looking for the right partnership opportunities," she said.

Although EarthLink has strong relationships with telcos and OEM partners, it has put a concerted effort into retail relationships to continue to grow and reach new customers, Smith said.

She added that the ISP intends to form partnerships with other retail chains, but she would not provide any specific details.

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