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Staples and EarthLink Announce Retail Agreement to Market Dial Up and High Speed Internet Services [10th December 2003]

ATLANTA and FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Dec 10, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via Comtex/ -- EarthLink (ELNK) today announced an agreement with Staples, Inc. (SPLS) to offer EarthLink Internet Services in the 1,100 Staples office superstores across the country. EarthLink's award winning Dial-up and High Speed Internet services feature EarthLink TotalAccess Software with EarthLink Accelerator, which at no additional charge enables dial up subscribers to surf the Web at speeds up to five times faster than standard 56K dial-up services.

"This agreement with Staples, a leader in satisfying the needs of today's savvy home office customers, is great for EarthLink because it allows us to reach consumers who are shopping for the tools they need to increase their productivity," said Kevin Flaherty, vice president of retail channel sales at EarthLink. "Small business and small office customers want an Internet and email experience without things like spam and pop ups and EarthLink, with Staples, can deliver that hassle-free Internet experience."

"We are very excited about our new relationship with EarthLink and what it enables us to provide our customers," said John Burke, senior vice president of business services for Staples. "EarthLink and Staples are both known for great customer service, and by working together, we can provide consumers with the best possible Internet experience."

EarthLink's Dial-Up Internet service is available now in Staples and customers can also sign up for EarthLink High Speed Internet service at kiosks in select Staples superstores across the country. All EarthLink customers receive EarthLink TotalAccess 2004 software featuring spamBlocker, which stops virtually 100 percent of spam before it reaches a users inbox, and Pop-Up Blocker(SM), which stops most unwanted pop-up and rich media ads. Staples and EarthLink will offer seasonal promotions and in-store merchandising of EarthLink products.

About Staples, Inc.

Staples, Inc. is headquartered outside of Boston and sells a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2002 sales of $11.6 billion, Staples is committed to make buying office products easy. Nearly 58,000 associates serve consumers and businesses of all sizes -- from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the US, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Staples invented the office superstore concept and today, with approximately 1,500 office superstores, is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. Staples also serves its customers through its mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at http://www.staples.com

About EarthLink

"EarthLink revolves around you(SM)." As a leading national Internet service provider (ISP) headquartered in Atlanta, EarthLink has earned an award winning reputation for outstanding customer service and its suite of online products and services. According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2003 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study(SM), EarthLink is ranked highest in customer satisfaction among high-speed Internet Service Providers. Serving approximately five million subscribers, EarthLink offers what every user should expect from their Internet experience: high- quality connectivity, minimal drop-offs and ISP-generated intrusions, and customizable features. Whether it's dial-up, high-speed, Web hosting, or wireless Internet service, EarthLink provides the tools that best let individuals use and enjoy the Internet on their own terms. Learn more about EarthLink by calling (800) EARTHLINK or visiting EarthLink's Web site at http://www.earthlink.net.

SOURCE EarthLink

David Blumenthal of EarthLink, +1-404-748-7316, or




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