EarthLink is one of the few remaining companies likely to make an offer to buy privately held One Communications Corp, as a deadline for bids arrives on Tuesday, said four people close to the deal.

If a sale occurs, the price could range anywhere near $500 million to $1 billion said the sources. Deals in the sector have been completed at around five times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, they added.

The sources requested anonymity as they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the companies.

One Comm, a regional provider of telephone and Internet services that claims to be the largest private regional telecommunications company in the United States, put itself up for sale in September.

The company had sought to drastically cut its debt as it risked breaching debt covenants, according to Standard & Poor's. One Comm has a $560 million senior secured term loan, of which $449.5 million is outstanding, and a $30 million revolving credit facility, according to the ratings agency.

The company had a cash balance of about $17 million as of March 31, 2010.

(Editing by Kenneth Li and Andre Grenon)