Earthlink Expands Relationship With Boingo

Sky Dayton founded both Earthlink and Boingo, so it’s no surprise the companies are pretty closely associated. Over two years ago, Earthlink agreed to private label Boingo’s offering, and now they’ve expanded that relationship, so that, rather than just offering Earthlink-branded Boingo to subscribers, customers of Earthlink’s TotalAccess premium package will have the ability to roam on Boingo’s hotspots. In other words, customers weren’t really seeing much of a benefit in being offered an identical Boingo service with the Earthlink brand. However, this way, Earthlink is actually offering something of additional value to some of their subscribers. More and more ISPs are realizing that it may be beneficial to offer some sort of WiFi network access for no extra charge, if only to cut down on customer churn. It seems likely that this practice is only going to expand over time. Update: Hmm. The more I look at this announcement, the more confusing it is… Perhaps Earthlink really isn’t offering access to Boingo’s network for free (as the original article had lead me to believe) but rather is just building Boingo software into their own software — but then still forcing people to pay extra for Boingo access.

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