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Not @Home with AT&T Broadband.

  12/9/2001 - Sunday, December 09, 2001 12:33:33 AM MST Albuquerque, Nm
  By Dustin D. Brand; Owner AMO

With 850,000 new users in 5 days, AT&Ts' Network feels it.
  What was described as a large undertaking; absorbing 850,000 Excite@Home AT&T Broadband users into AT&Ts' own network, AT&T has left users wanting to shove things in certain places.

  In several interviews, AT&T Broadband users, Excite@Home users, and even Digital Cable users alike complained of service problems. These problems do not seem cooincidental at all, in fact AT&T Broadband just withdrew it's $307 million bid for Excite@Home, and the 850,000 AT&T Excite@Home customers lost service - forcing AT&T Broadband to absorb them on their own high speed internet network. Now that is a broadband mouth full.

  AT&T Broadband users who tested their internet speeds found them as slow as 128Kbps, or roughly twice the speed of a dial-up modem, and 1 tenth the promised speed from AT&T. Further more, the entire AT&T Cable network seems to be affected. AT&T Broadband Digital Cable Users throughout Chicago complained of "fuzzy" channels and unviewable pay per view movies. AT&T Technicians seem to be working on the problems but absorbing 850,000 customers in 5 days is likely to take a while to stabilize.

  In further news, AT&T Broadband currently has several buyout offers on the table, and a few confidentiality agreements signed. Once such buyout bid by Comcast was rejected in August at $44.5 Billion. The new offer from Comcast is reportedly $37.5 Billion with negotiations ongoing. AOL Time Warner is also in the lineup bidding for AT&T Broadband.

  With 850,000 new customers, we may expect the bid for AT&T Broadband to increase; however AT&T Broadband may not sell, or may not retain these customers. A total of 4.1 Million Excite@Home Internet users will be displaced due to it's shutdown. 850,000 are already gone thanks to AT&T Broadband. Comcast, a bidder for AT&T Broadband purchased an extra 3 months of time with Excite@Home which should be accepted by the Bankruptcy Court Judge overseeing the Excite@Home Chapter 11 proceedings this Tuesday.

  Since AT&T Broadband withdrew their bid for Excite@Home, pulled back 850,000 customers a little to fast to swallow - impressive nonetheless; can AT&T Broadband survive? AT&T Broadband appears to be better handled not by AT&T. I would not be surprised to hear a few lawsuits come out of AT&T absorbing Excite@Home customers and then having them not get the service they paid for because AT&T wasn't ready.

  Regardless of who purchases AT&T Broadband, or if AT&T Broadband sticks around inside of AT&T; one thing is certain, AT&T Broadband needs to be at home with their customers.

  Related AMO Articles:
   The Bump in the road for Broadband
   Excite@Home gets a payment notice.
   Can Excite@Home survive?

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