Current scores $130m from General Electric and...EarthLink: Huh. Just a few minutes ago, I posted an item at WiMax Networking News about AOL and Clearwire partnering on a service that allows AOL to skip the wires, noting that like EarthLink, AOL must shed dial-up. AOL via Time-Warner may be resold over a major multiple systems cable operator, but they still have many parts of the country where they need a fourth way--beyond phone, cable, and powerline, meaning wireless as the fourth method. I count powerline as number three because the infrastructure is largely in place and it's been viable for much longer than true metro-scale broadband wireless.
So the third way is coming into its own, and EarthLink's investment is a direct result of their need to get customers without working through incumbent phone and cable operators.
It's worth noting that Google invested in Current (at an unspecified level) in July 2005 as part of $100m received from Google, Hearst, and Goldman Sachs. In 2004, Current and a related effort received $70m in investment. Google, too, needs end runs around gatekeepers.
Current offers broadband over powerline (BPL) in Cincinnati, and has a large project underway in Texas. EarthLink will be a retail reseller of Current's offering, but I expect that (per EarthLink's modality) this isn't exclusive.