Cable Cos. Buy Three Months For Excite@Home

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Cable companies pumped $355 million into high-speed Internet service Excite@Home to keep it operating over the next three months.


Comcast Corporation, Cox Communications, Rogers Communications, Insight Communications, Mediacom Communications and others yesterday struck the deal, subject to approval by a San Francisco bankruptcy court, allowing the bankrupt broadband provider to continue service until the end of February while they ready their networks.


The cable companies have been working to hammer out an agreement since the bankruptcy court said Excite@Home could terminate service to cable companies with which it could not reach agreements.


Thousands of Excite@Home subscribers nationwide lost service Dec. 1.


While subscribers using Cox and Comcast were able to continue service because a temporary agreement with Excite@Home was signed, most subscribers connecting through AT&T Broadband were left without high-speed access.


AT&T could not reach an agreement with Excite@Home and yesterday withdrew its $307 million offer to buy Excite@Home. However, AT&T Broadband said it plans to shift customers over to its service over the next few days.


Cox and Comcast, which have over one million Excite@Home subscribers, are planning to shift those subscribers over to their high-speed Internet services in the next three months. Rogers Communications, Toronto, will also be able to ensure uninterrupted service to its 425,000 subscribers.


Meanwhile, other high-speed Internet service providers began offering discounts on their broadband service, in an attempt to win subscribers from AT&T and the cable firms involved in Excite@Home, according to published reports.


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