New Edge Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of EarthLink (NASDAQ:ELNK), has completed installation of network infrastructure that will accelerate introduction of a network service that allows businesses to tag and prioritize data applications traffic. Live testing of the network service is expected to begin next month with existing customers and should be ready for full commercial delivery in April.

Using low-cost, high-speed digital subscriber lines commonly used for wide area networks, companies can use up to five classes of service to tag and prioritize their applications so that critical services such as VoIP telephone calls or inventory and price lookups move across DSL-based networks ahead of e-mail or other less important business functions. Currently, this type of service is available only on costly high-capacity T1 lines with MPLS technology.

"Traffic prioritization over DSL is a breakthrough service offering for budget-conscious small and midsize businesses that cannot yet justify the improved application performance and reliability of more costly T1 lines," Greg Griffiths, vice president of marketing for New Edge Networks, said in a statement. "MPLS class of service over DSL allows businesses to optimize use of high-speed, low-cost DSL access until they are ready to step up to the next network performance level."