Excite@Home Cuts Off AT&T Broadband


After apparently forging interim agreements with other cablers including Cox
Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., Excite@Home Corp. cut off service to
850,000 AT&T Broadband customers after the MSO refused to pay the new price
for cable-modem service.

The affiliate cablers went into intense negotiations Friday after U.S.
Bankruptcy Court Judge Thomas Carlson voided the existing service agreements
with cable affiliates and gave Excite@Home the power to shut its network down
until contracts could be negotiated.

Cox and Comcast will reportedly pay $150 million each to maintain service
through June 4, when they are scheduled to leave the Excite@Home network for

Cox signed a nonbinding letter of agreement late Sunday, and it is in
negotiations to forge a definitive agreement. With its own network about 75
percent complete, the MSO can start switching people over as early as this

But AT&T Broadband balked at the new rates, reportedly in the range of
$50 monthly per subscriber. On Saturday, AT&T Broadband's Excite@Home users
received an automated message from the cabler stating that service had been cut
off temporarily.

AT&T Broadband is promising its customers two days' credit for each day
of the service shutdown. The MSO plans to migrate most customers within one week
to a new network it has been developing to replace the Excite@Home network.

So far, AT&T Broadband has moved about 86,000 customers in Oregon and
Vancouver, Wash., to its new network.

So far, AT&T Broadband has moved about 330,000 customers in Oregon;
Vancouver, Wash.; and the Dallas metro area to its new network. Customers in
San Francisco and Illinois will see transition Tuesday. On Wednesday,
customers in Denver and Salt Lake City will sign on to the new service, with
most of the remaining broadband customers transitioned by Friday.

Those customers will be reassigned new electronic-mail addresses that take
their old names and adds an @attbi domain name, and content will be supplied by
AT&T WorldNet.

For those customers who will have service outages for more than one week,
AT&T Broadband will offer free dial-up connections through parent AT&T
Corp.'s Internet-service provider.

Among the cable affiliates with all or part of their cable-modem service
supplied by Excite@Home are Cox, Comcast, Charter Communications Inc., AT&T
Broadband, Insight Communications Co. Inc., Midcontinent Communications and
Mediacom Communications Corp.