EarthLink, Inc. is an Internet service provider (ISP) providing reliable nationwide Internet access and related value-added services to its individual and business customers. The Company was formed in February 2000, as a result of the merger of EarthLink Network, Inc. (EarthLink Network) and MindSpring Enterprises, Inc. (MindSpring). It provides a variety of Internet access and related services, including narrowband access, wireless access, broadband or high-speed access and Web hosting. It focuses on providing an experience for its users through reliable access, customer service and support and useful features such as e-mail, Web storage, spam filtering and Pop-Up Blocker. Its customer base grew from approximately 4.8 million paying customers, on December 31, 2001, to approximately five million paying customers on December 31, 2002. EarthLink has grown its customer base organically through traditional marketing channels such as direct marketing, alliances with strategic partners and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), retail outlets and word-of-mouth and referral marketing. The Company has also grown its customer base through acquisitions of businesses, including the purchases of OneMain.com, Inc. (OneMain), Cidco Incorporated (Cidco), and PeoplePC Inc. (PeoplePC) in September 2000, December 2001 and July 2002, respectively, as well as the acquisitions of customer bases. The Company focuses on the four key business areas of narrowband access, broadband access, Web hosting and content, commerce and advertising.
Broadband access revenues consist of fees charged for high-speed, high-capacity access services including direct subscriber line (DSL), cable, satellite, fixed wireless and dedicated circuit services; installation fees; early termination fees; reactivation fees; shipping and handling fees, and proceeds from the sale of modems and consumer premise equipment to its subscribers. EarthLink expects broadband access to be the primary driver for future revenue growth as it continues to expand its broadband service offerings throughout its national footprint and across a variety of access methods. During the year ended December 31, 2002, the Company added 308,000 (net) new broadband subscribers to end the year at 779,000 broadband subscribers.