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EarthLink to offer TiVo boxes with DSL

Bundled DVR service might help EarthLink compete against the larger cable and satellite companies.
Written by Tom Krazit, Contributor
EarthLink and TiVo are joining forces to sell a package featuring EarthLink's high-speed Internet and TiVo's digital video recorders.

Customers who sign up for EarthLink's DSL (digital subscriber line) Internet access will be offered a TiVo Series 2 device and TiVo's service, with rebates on the cost of the DVR, according to an EarthLink representative. The companies will start offering the option to new and existing EarthLink customers later this spring, the representative said Tuesday.

The deal gives TiVo a prominent partner for getting its technology into people's living rooms, said Naveen Chopra, vice president for corporate development at TiVo. The company has had high-profile agreements in the past with companies like DirecTV, but DirecTV no longer distributes TiVo boxes to its customers. TiVo and Comcast are scheduled to begin their own partnership later this year.

EarthLink offers similar bundles with VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) services as a way of competing with the bigger telecommunications companies like Comcast. This deal gives EarthLink another way to make its services stand out among the crowd, Chopra said.

"It allows (EarthLink) to sell that bundle as a single package and single bill, and at a lower cost than if you were to buy those services separately," Chopra said.

In the future, the companies might expand the technical interoperability of their services, such as offering Internet services directly through the TiVo box, representatives for both companies said. However, they have no specific plans at this time.

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