Earthlink has been in the news for job cuts and giving up on Wifi in San Francisco lately. Customers of the internet provider will be happy to know that there are some good news too: Earthlink just started outsourcing their Usenet service to Supernews. They recently announced the changes on the company weblog:

"Earthlink has offered this service to our users since the beginning. However, we’ll be the first to recognize that our Usenet service has been… let’s just say, not up to par for the last few years."

You must leave it to Earthlink that they are kinda cute in their dorkiness. Earthlink's Usenet service has been kinda spotty for years and went downhill when the company launched their Weblife platform last year that turned out to be powered by what used to be one of their Usenet server farms. The service has been pretty much unusable ever since.

Until now, that is. Completion finally seems to be fine again, and Earthlink promises a "way longer" retention rate - which will probably be the 40 days for multi-part binaries Supernews offers private customers. Earthlink also used to cap bandwidth after you downloaded five gigabytes. Now there is no download cap or limit whatsoever. Just as a frame of reference: Comcast offers its customers Giganews access, but caps it after just two gigabytes.

So why is this interesting when it comes to P2P and file sharing? For one thing, it does show that ISPs and their customers still consider Usenet access an essential part of their service - which in turn means that it will continue to play an important role in online media distribution.

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