ATLANTA, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK) a leading IT and communications provider, today announced that J. Smith Lanier and Co,one of the largest privately owned insurance brokers in the United States, has upgraded to a 20-location private EarthLink MPLS network to enhance security, performance, control, flexibility and cost efficiency. The new network supports employee access to critical insurance applications at all 20 of their southeastern office locations and also provides the company with the future ability to utilize EarthLink's Data Center Connect and other IT services to expand their IT capabilities and variablize IT costs as required. Click here to view EarthLink's J. Smith Lanier case study. An EarthLink customer for more than 15 years, J. Smith Lanier is a 150-year-old firm offering commercial and personal lines insurance, employee benefits, aviation insurance, surety, and risk control. As its connectivity and bandwidth needs to run business-critical applications such as an image capturing system grew, its existing frame relay network dragged down performance and slowed employee productivity. Plus, the company's own data privacy standards, as well as those required under HIPAA and FINRA, made a private network more suitable. EarthLink designed a private Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network for J. Smith Lanier to meet its security and performance demands. MPLS provides more reliable application performance because, in contrast to frame and VPN environments, it takes the shortest path to the end destination, improving site-to-site performance, minimizing delay and jitter, and eliminating bandwidth demands placed on the host to support all network traffic. "I came from an environment with VPN, and comparatively, I like the stability, security and ease of management of MPLS," said Michael Andrews, Director of Technology for J. Smith Lanier. "We don't have a big staff so we appreciate the simplicity of managing EarthLink MPLS. It requires much less configuration than frame relay. When we add a new site, link or connection, it saves us time." With EarthLink, the company has greater control over how it prioritizes traffic. J. Smith Lanier uses the EarthLink MPLS network for all of its data and applications including their image capturing system, workflow management, policy information, insurance documents, and email. EarthLink enables Class of Service (CoS) prioritization on all access types and the agency's management database and imaging system – which captures images of every client document – receive highest priority, followed by email. "J. Smith Lanier is a longstanding customer and we are proud that they turned to us when their network needs evolved," said Michael D. Toplisek, EarthLink Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "Their positive results are a great example of how businesses that rely on our MPLS expertise and consultative approach can benefit from a tailored network solution." Michael Andrews at J. Smith Lanier concludes, "We've remained an EarthLink customer for 15 years because no other vendor provides the same combination of performance, security, reliability and service. Our EarthLink account team is very accessible and always responds quickly and I rely on them heavily for technical support. The service we receive sets EarthLink apart from other vendors we've worked with, and as a result I've been able to keep my internal team leaner and more focused."