AT&T Transferring Subscribers from Excite@Home

While thousands of Excite@Home customers throughout the US were without Internet access over the weekend, AT&T planned to have all former Excite@Home subscribers switched over to its high-speed Internet system this week.

Over 500,000 Excite@Home subscribers that have service through AT&T Broadband lost service Saturday morning after a San Francisco bankruptcy court ruled that Excite@Home could terminate service to cable companies with which it could not reach agreements. Excite@Home has reportedly demanded that the cable companies pay substantially more than their current approximate $16 per month to keep subscribers connected.

Cox Communications and Comcast Corp. struck a temporary deal with Excite@Home, allowing service to continue while they build their own high-speed systems. Comcast has 790,000 subscribers. Cox has 550,000.

Excite@Home had four million subscribers.

After AT&T and Excite@Home could not strike a deal, AT&T began moving the customers to its Internet access service over the weekend.

"We're appealing to our customers to stick with us as we add them to a reliable, high-quality network that will serve them well," said Susan Marshall, senior vice president of Advanced Broadband Services for AT&T Broadband.

The first 330,000 of AT&T's 850,000 Excite@Home subscribers have been transferred, and their e-mail addresses were switched from (username) to (username)

The rest of the subscribers will be added in the "next few days", according to AT&T. The company will issue credits to customers with service interruptions.

AT&T owns 23 percent of Excite@Home and would like to buy the rest.

Meanwhile, another of Excite@Home's clients, Rogers Cable in Canada, said it was ready to "flip the switch" if it could not reach an agreement with Excite@Home. The Toronto-based company said 60 percent of its subscribers were already switched to new e-mail boxes at (username)

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