While the ISP has focused exclusively on residential customers and companies with fewer than 100 employees, it says it will offer services for large businesses before the end of September.
EarthLink will introduce a VPN service that will be an extension of a company's existing secure network service, Andrus says.
The vendor will work with corporate customers to define the security and access parameters they want to support. EarthLink's VPN service will differ from other ISP offerings because it will nnot lock users into specific hardware or software. EarthLink plans to support the service with standards-based security devices that will interoperate with any VPN gateway or router that may be deployed at a company's headquarters.
The VPN offering will also tie in with the EarthLink Everywhere service, the ISP's wireless Internet access initiative announced earlier this year (See story). Users can access their corporate network using a Rim BlackBerry handheld device or Ricochet wireless modem attached to their PCs.
George A. Chidi with the IDG News Service contributed to this story.