EarthLink, Apple's Internet service provider (ISP) for the US and Canada, has launched a service that allows users to check their email by phone.

Email-By-Phone is provided as an extra service for $4.95 per month to members, who dial a toll-free number to access their email. Users can listen and reply to their email over the phone.

An automated voice reads emails over the phone, and customers are able to delete or skip messages with a voice command, as well as reply to email with a WAV (Windows Wave) audio-file attachment.

Done deals Email-By-Phone is provided through deals Earthlink made with speech-applications company AudioPoint and revenue service provider Erogo.

Demon, Apple's UK ISP, could not say if a similar initiative would be rolled out for its subscribers.

Head of Demon's corporate communications Deborah Rodger said: "We have no plans to launch a product of this type at the moment, but we are continually looking into and developing new products and services."