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Earthlink Plans To Offer VoIP On Traditional Phones

Earthlink Inc. on Monday said it plans to test an Internet telephony service in October that would deliver local and long-distance calling over existing telephones.

The Atlanta-based company plans to launch the trial in San Jose, Calif.; Dallas, San Francisco and Seattle. The service would be offered over technology provided by San Jose, Calif.-based, Covad Communications Group, which offers high-speed service in 44 states over digital subscriber lines, or DSL.

Pricing was not disclosed.

The Earthlink service would operate during power outages and support 911 emergency calling, the company said. Customers would be able to use existing telephones, wiring and computer equipment.

Internet telephony, known as voice over Internet protocol, often requires that a telephone be connected to a computer or router. In offering its service, Earthlink is using Covad's advanced technology called DSL Access Multiplexer, which boosts speeds on traditional telephone copper wiring and enables business-class services, such as a metro Ethernet.

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