Charter, Excite@Home Reach Deal to Continue Service for 14,000 Customers

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Service could be maintained for about 14,000 customers in the Pacific Northwest of failing high-speed cable Internet provider Excite@Home under a deal with Charter Communications, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Charter Communications is a cable provider that uses Excite@Home to offer its customers cable Internet access. That service will end once Excite@Home, which faces bankruptcy, ceases operations.

Several cable companies have pledged a total of $355 million to keep Excite@Home running for three more months. Excite@Home had said it would shut off service to companies not part of the deal, including Charter, St. Louis.

All but 10 percent of Charter's 145,000 customers who used Excite@Home have been moved to a service run by Charter. An Excite@Home spokesman said that, under a deal being worked out Dec. 6, Charter would pay less than $1 million to keep Excite@Home service through Feb. 28 so it could transition the remaining customers, the AP reported.

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge is scheduled to decide tomorrowwhether the deals between Excite@Home and its cable partners are legitimate.

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