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New Edge First to Offer MPLS Classes of Service Over DSL Networks.

New Service Helps Businesses Avoid Data Bottlenecks, Hold Down Network Costs

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- New Edge Networks, the business communications unit of EarthLink Inc., (NASDAQ: ELNK), today became the first telecommunications company to offer a new network service that allows businesses to tag and prioritize data traffic over DSL access using up to five MPLS classes of service.

New Edge previously announced plans in January to offer up to five classes of service over DSL and on Monday launched its service following nearly three months of successful testing. Until now, data traffic tagging and prioritization with true classes of service were available only on more costly T1 lines with MPLS.

New Edge offers its new service directly and through selling partners nationally in most areas where DSL is available.

"This breakthrough service helps small and midsize businesses avoid network congestion problems due to the convergence of communications applications such as VoIP phone calls and other latency-sensitive services over DSL access," said Greg Griffiths, vice president of marketing for New Edge Networks. "Network bottlenecks and data traffic congestion bog down application performance and business productivity."

To stay competitive, small and midsize businesses are deploying a myriad of new applications to drive efficiency, improve customer service, and enhance profitability. But as applications and data traffic mount, a business is faced with the need to get more bandwidth or better throughput. Many businesses are deferring desirable applications because they cannot yet make a business case to step up to the next performance level, which is usually a T1 line with MPLS.

"MPLS with class of service over DSL closes the large pricing gap between traditional business-class DSL and a full T1 line," Griffiths said. "It also allows businesses to add additional applications over their DSL-based network without the risk of compromising performance."

New Edge is pricing its new service with a $100 premium over the cost of a fully managed DSL-based private network, which averages about $140 a month, per location. This price step-up includes bandwidth optimization with up to five classes of service over DSL access, improved service level guarantees, and a Cisco router upgrade.

In contrast, the monthly cost for a T1 line can start at about $500, depending on distance and geographic area. With some carriers, MPLS classes of service and T1 network management are added options.

With MPLS class of service over DSL, businesses can hold down their monthly communications costs while optimizing use of high-speed, low-cost DSL access commonly used for wide area networks.

"MPLS over DSL also is an attractive cost-saving option for businesses that previously were forced to use T1 at all locations," Griffiths said. "Now businesses can mix and match access technologies based on the specific needs at each location without compromising the value of key MPLS benefits."

New Edge instituted improved service level guarantees on its new service. These include an 18-hour mean time to repair (MTTR) for a DSL line with the class-of-service option. The industry benchmark MTTR for a regular DSL line is 24 hours. In contrast, the MTTR for a more costly T1 line is four hours.

New Edge also is extending its service level guarantees for class of service on T1 MPLS lines to DSL. A comprehensive service level guaranty is available at www.newedgenetworks.com/support/sla.xea

More information about New Edge Networks' MPLS networks with class of service over DSL is available at www.newedgenetworks.com/products/mpls/

New Edge is targeting businesses in various industries that have diverse location sizes where a blend of DSL and T1 technology is of value. These industries include banking, manufacturing, transportation, and retail, among others. Businesses in these industries typically use multiple applications over their networks and plan to add others.

About New Edge Networks

New Edge Networks builds and manages private IP-based wide area networks that do not use the public Internet. Connecting business sites at virtually any address in the United States, New Edge allows businesses to choose any blend of available access technologies - from DSL and T1 lines to fiber-optic connections - for building private and secure MPLS networks with performance guarantees. A wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based EarthLink Inc., (NASDAQ: ELNK), New Edge is based in Vancouver, Wash. For more information visit www.newedgenetworks.com or call 1-360-693-9009.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 14, 2008
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