After granting a four-day delay to give bondholders and creditors more time
for review, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in San Francisco approved $355 million
in contracts that will keep Excite@Home Corp.'s network running through
Judge Thomas Carlson approved 90-day contracts with Cox Communications Inc.,
Comcast Corp., Insight Communications Co., Mediacom Communications Corp.,
Midcontinent Communications and Canada's Rogers Cable Inc., among others.
The MSOs will kick in up-front fees -- which range from $160 million for Cox
and Comcast to less than $10 million for Mediacom -- to maintain bankrupt
Excite@Home's network through Feb. 28. After that date, the data-over-cable
provider plans to shut down.
Charter Communications Inc. will likely be a late addition, kicking in a
little under $1 million to maintain Excite@Home access for its customers.
Carlson had postponed a scheduled Dec. 7 hearing to give creditors and
bondholders more time to examine the contracts. Reports indicate that they were
'Today's ruling is a win for our customers because their access to @Home
e-mail and the Internet will remain uninterrupted throughout the seamless
transition from @Home to our new Comcast High-Speed Internet network,' Comcast
cable unit president Steve Burke said in a statement.
'Our ability to add new subscribers also remains uninterrupted.'
Shortly after the judge's decision, Comcast issued a release announcing plans
to move to its own high-speed data service.
The MSO promises several new features, including remote access to
electronic-mail accounts and network-based data storage.