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Some People @Home, Some Not @Home 513

11thangel writes: "Dotcomscoop is reporting that Excite@home has released a statement saying that they have discontinued service to AT&T, as it's certain negotiations will be fruitless. All others are still at the bargaining table. Earlier statements indicated that an example would be made out of one provider, AT&T being the obvious target. Everyone else keep your fingers crossed." There's a Reuters story about AT&T being unplugged. Various submissions have noted that some people who still have connectivity have lost their DNS servers. Just add "" to your hosts file and you should be good to go. :)
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Some People @Home, Some Not @Home

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  • I'm back online (Score:5, Informative)

    by XBL ( 305578 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:25PM (#2642025)
    I'm here in Iowa (under AT&T @Home), and my DNS has been down all day. It came back up an hour ago.

    My mail server reports that my account doesn't exist :-(

    Overall, I am impressed how AT&T has moved all its customers off Excite and onto their own network... I dunno how they did it.
    • At first I was impressed with the speed Charter moved everyone onto their network (in Wisconsin) but I was just thinking that it's probably not all that difficult. But really it's pathetic that the expectation level for cable TV/telecom customer service makes us actually "impressed" when it simply works like it should.
    • Re:I'm back online (Score:4, Informative)

      by trenton ( 53581 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .lnotnert.> on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:42PM (#2642117) Homepage
      Not all customers have been moved. I'm in Berkeley, CA on AT&T@Home and I'm totally down. Can't ping from inside or outside the network. It was working when I went to bed at 5:30a but stopped working by noon when I woke up. (Civ 3 sleep pattern.)

      I called their 800 number. Their recording said I'd be back up in 7 days. In the meantime, I'll receive 2 days of credit for every day I'm down.

    • Re:I'm back online (Score:2, Informative)

      by Versa ( 252878 )
      I don't think I ever went off line (iowa) I was using it last night till 11pm. left filesharing apps up. and just used it again at 2:30 pm today seems to have been up all the time.

      Tracert shows I go through 3 @home hops (cedar rapids, desmoines then chicago)before going to att backbone. I don't remember if its always been those hops or not (at least the first three were the same).
    • Re:I'm back online (Score:5, Informative)

      by aka-ed ( 459608 ) <> on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:56PM (#2642166) Homepage Journal
      Overall, I am impressed how AT&T has moved all its customers off Excite and onto their own network... I dunno how they did it.

      Not all their customers...yet. Here's the latest on the migration plan. []

      • At&t says that our service could be down for up to seven days. From the outset, their service in the Chicago area has been plagued with numerous outages, which is why they won't be getting any checks from us anytime soon.

        I hate to say it, but after 4 months of non-service, I've decided to go back to dialup. I've had nothing but problems with both their network service, and their customer service. Today, their phone support line was still telling customers to check the website for troubleshooting problems!

    • Overall, I am impressed how AT&T has moved all its customers off Excite and onto their own network... I dunno how they did it.
      According to some [] news [] reports [], about 10% of AT&T customers have been switched -- that's not exactly all.

      Coincidentally, I think most everyone in the Puget Sound (aka, Seattle) area, if not the majority of the state, is offline.

      Yeah, I'm impressed with AT&T, too.

    • Re:I'm back online (Score:3, Informative)

      by swordboy ( 472941 )
      For people without DNS:

      Just go to google and find the DNS servers of a local university. Add them to your IP config and you are all set. I am in michigan and ours are still down. I'm using Oakland University's DNS and it works fine.
    • I am STILL online (Score:2, Informative)

      by Raven42rac ( 448205 )
      I am so happy, my local provider is trying their damndest to keep us up and running, as per their latest e-mail:
      Dear Cox @ Home Customer:

      As you know from our previous emails, Excite @ Home, our vendor in delivering
      your Cox @ Home service, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection at the end
      of September. We have endeavored to keep you informed of the potential impact
      this Bankruptcy could have on your Cox @ Home service and are writing to you
      today to provide the latest information we have available.

      First, we want you to know that we are committed to providing you uninterrupted
      high speed Internet service. Cox Communications has been working diligently in
      negotiations with Excite @ Home and using all legal avenues available to protect
      you, our valued customer. Meanwhile, we have been forging ahead with our
      plans to deliver reliable high speed Internet service to you on our Cox-managed
      network. You will soon be receiving additional information about our new Cox
      High Speed Internet(sm) service, along with information to help you convert to this
      new service.

      The latest developments with Excite @ Home:

      This month, Excite @ Home's creditors petitioned the Bankruptcy court with a
      motion to allow Excite @ Home to terminate service agreements with its cable
      affiliates on November 30th. This includes agreements with Cox, Comcast and
      AT&T. If the Court grants the creditors' request, there conceivably could be a
      temporary disruption in the services that Excite @ Home provides to
      approximately 3.7 million customers served by its North American cable affiliates.
      We are doing everything possible to see that there will not be a disruption in your
      service, but also want you to understand the possibilities and to be prepared:

      *If the Judge's ruling states that Excite @ Home may terminate its service
      agreements with Cox and the other cable affiliates, this does not mean that
      Excite @ Home will automatically turn off the service on November 30th.
      *With the Judge's approval, Excite @ Home would then have the ability to make
      a decision on termination; however, we are negotiating with them to prevent any
      service disruption.
      *If Excite @ Home decides to terminate service despite our efforts to negotiate a
      temporary arrangement, the question remains as to when the service would be
      terminated. We are doing everything we can to ensure that your Cox @ Home
      service continues until we can transition you to our new Cox-managed Internet
      service. In short, we are doing our best to make sure that you will never be
      without high speed Internet service.

      Additional help Cox is providing:

      In addition to exercising legal avenues, negotiating with Excite @ Home, and
      building our own high speed Internet service, Cox is also offering the following to
      help you and to keep you informed during this transitional period:

      Toll Free Customer Information Line (1-877-832-4751). You can call in for
      the latest updates as we work to quickly resolve any service issues.
      Website Message Center at 0C 8sRW0B460ork0AF
      We will provide online updates and a "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) section to
      address your concerns.
      Automatic Account Credits. We will credit your account automatically for
      service and leased equipment so that you are reimbursed for any time you
      are without service.
      Free, temporary dial-up Internet access. In the unlikely event that you
      should experience a service disruption, we have arranged for temporary
      dial-up access to the Internet via NetZero(R). In order to take advantage of
      this precautionary option, please see the "What Should I be Doing Right
      Now" section that follows.

      Cox has a long history of outstanding service in your community. We pride
      ourselves on providing high quality products and the best customer service.
      Please know that we are committed to our customers and understand the
      extent to which you enjoy the services we provide. We recognize that you
      have a choice in service providers and we will continue to do our best to
      remain your choice now and in the future. In advance, we apologize for any
      inconvenience that the Bankruptcy of our vendor Excite @ Home may cause

      Stay tuned for more details, and thank you for choosing Cox.


      The Cox High-Speed Internet Team
      Cox Communications, Inc.


      What Should I be Doing Right Now?
      1. Check your Cox @ Home email daily. Opened messages will be saved
      automatically to your hard drive.
      2. Download free dial-up Internet software. In the unlikely event that Excite
      @ Home terminates your service, you would lose connectivity to the Internet and
      access to your Cox @ Home services such as email and webspace. We do not
      recommend that you install the software at this time, just download the software
      and save it so that it may be installed should you have an interruption in service.
      In order to restore access to the Internet and to set up a temporary email
      address, we recommend that you register for dial-up service via NetZero and
      download the necessary software. You will not be able to download the software
      from your home after your Internet service has already been disrupted. While a
      free dial-up connection is not ideal, it will give you temporary access to the
      Internet for surfing, making transactions, etc. However, you will not be able to
      access your Cox @ Home email accounts while the service is shut down. For
      information on how to download this software, please visit 0C 8sRW0B460ork0AF
      3. Back up your personal web page to your hard drive or to a CD. (This is a
      good precautionary measure to follow at any time.)
      4. In the unlikely event that there is a disruption in service, keep your cable
      modem connected to your PC until service is restored.
      5. Watch for more information from Cox on the transition of your service to
      Cox High Speed Internet. At such time that you can make the transition to our
      new service, Cox will be providing you with all of the information you need to make
      your transition as smooth as possible.

      Locally, Cox is taking over the excite network, calling it just the generic, "Cox High-Speed Internet" so hopefully I can still browse /. and the rest of the web for that matter.

      Mo Bandwidth. Mo Problems.
    • I'm kinda fortunate - I've got DSL to the house too. I was playing with the idea of terminating the cable services (thus the DSL) and POOF - they did if for me ;-)

      Seriously, after having DSL for a month or so, and cable for four years, the cable service speed is nominally much faster, mainly because of it's ability to peek at higher performance. The DSL has been more reliable. When you have both, at least you have near 100% up time. My only real concern now is that Covad goes the way of @home. Then I'm truly screwed....
  • Poor guys (Score:5, Funny)

    by NightRain ( 144349 ) <{ray} {at} {}> on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:26PM (#2642031)
    I clicked on the link in the main article, and what are the words I see? "Overwhelming traffic to has created technical problems leading to data loss. Recent news stories published on the site are lost for the time being. We will continue to provide updates as news warrants."

    And this is before the /. effect hits them. I feel their pain :)
  • by soulsteal ( 104635 ) <soulsteal.3l337@org> on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:27PM (#2642033) Homepage
    A bonafide /.'er would add two lines to their HOSTS file:

    Just to be fair to the trolls...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:27PM (#2642036)
    Coincidently (?) their building sign only has "Excite@" illuminated (the "home" portion is dark)... or maybe it's irony... sarcasm ? ^_^
  • I think I'll be OK (Score:4, Informative)

    by SumDeusExMachina ( 318037 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:27PM (#2642038) Homepage
    I'm posting from a Comcast connection right now, and I've heard various unconfirmed reports that Comcast has been frantically preparing their own backbone network over the past few weeks in preparation for exactly this kind of scenario.

    The only thing I'm really worried about right now is losing my e-mail account and having friends get their messages bounced before I can tell them my new address (whatever that may be). It's almost as bad as going through a change of area code with the phone company, only here, the grace period is a matter of days.

    • by Dudio ( 529949 )
      The only thing I'm really worried about right now is losing my e-mail account and having friends get their messages bounced before I can tell them my new address (whatever that may be).

      Do what I do - use an email forwarding service. I use iName [], but Bigfoot [] also has free forwarding. Bigfoot limits you to 25 messages/day on their free accounts; iName has no limit AFAIK. I've been using iName for several years now, and the only problems I've had have been the occasional slow delivery. Nothing more than an hour or two though, and it's usually very fast.
  • Somewhat working (Score:5, Interesting)

    by brocktune ( 512373 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:28PM (#2642042) Homepage
    I changed DNS to the old Mediaone servers and I'm working again. My DHCP-generated IP address changed. Mail and news are not up yet.

    Details on how to change are here []. I assume other folks can replace the "ga" in the URL with their state or city name. There was an email sent out last week with more details.
  • I moved from Vancouver to Oxford, and from @Home to free university-supplied 100Mbps ethernet, a couple months ago.
  • dns isn't a crisis (Score:5, Informative)

    by Restil ( 31903 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:31PM (#2642063) Homepage
    Guys.. you can use ANY dns server on the internet pretty much. Might be that tinsy bit extra resolving latency, but the crisis is minimal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:32PM (#2642073)
    If you are one of the many disconnected today, here's something you can try to get back online:

    If your modem still has sync (cable modem is showing online, or solid cable light - depending on what modem you have) but have you no connectivity, set your IP and host information in statically, but specify non-@Home DNS numbers.

    This got me back online, so it might be worth your while to try it youself.
    • FYI,

      AT&T @Home service in Cupertino, CA is down. The lights on the modem are on, but changing DNS servers or typing IP addresses into the URL does not work. So it looks like the head-end is up, but nothing's getting routed.

      I still feel like my $1K/mo T1 is a rip-off, but hey, at least it's up! Although I've heard rumors that XO (the CLEC providing the circuit to HE.NET) is also having financial troubles.

      Looks like another win for the ILECs.
    • I did the opposite. My local AT&T cable office was bought out by Charter a few months ago. Today when my internet connection went down while I was using it. I just changed off of my static @home IP to dynamic and let it choose a Charter IP. Looks like Charter was ready to switch as soon as it happened. Now I just have to dial into my network and change all of my IPChains lists. ;)

      First good thing that Charter has done for me.

    • This only works if you can ping servers by number, of course, which I can't on AT&T's Seattle network. Right now I'm snoozing along on dialup. Someone wake me up when we're connected again.
  • Comcast@HOME (Score:5, Informative)

    by omega9 ( 138280 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:32PM (#2642074)
    I've got access through Comcast@Home here in Richmond, VA. We're still up but I keep the green lights in the corner of my eye.

    Mail, News, and DNS servers are all still active on their original IPs. We have not received any official email from Comcast concerning the status of their network. They're either solid with their own network and backbone, or they're just waiting to die. Either way, I wish we would get informed.
  • by ryanvm ( 247662 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:35PM (#2642086)
    Insight Communications has released the following statement today to their customers:

    Insight, along with other cable operators, is currently in the tail end of positive negotiations with @Home. At this time, we fully expect to maintain connectivity for our Insight@Home customer base.

    We recognize that certain communities in our Central Illinois service areas have seen an interruption in service this morning due to an @Home error. We are working diligently to correct this issue and expect full service to be restored today. We apologize to these customers for any inconvenience this has caused.

    Thank you for your continued patience as we work through this issue.
  • by Indy1 ( 99447 ) <> on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:35PM (#2642087) Homepage
    use this if your dns is not working....... (

    yes, thats a real dns server :) and a wonderfully easy address to remember as well. I use it as my secondary dns on the rare occasions when my isp's dns ( is choking.
  • more dns #'s (Score:5, Interesting)

    by loraksus ( 171574 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:36PM (#2642090) Homepage
    provided to you by verizon and painfully easy to remember.

    I'm still shocked about how this is happening in the USA. I mean, if it happened in some eastern bloc country, or some nation in Africa that is very corrupt / piss poor, I could understand, but here?
    No offense to people in those countries, btw, it seems that the telecommunications infrastructure in most countries is beter than that of the usa.
    I honestly don't understand why the service costs so much in the usa - In BC, Canada, 1.5mb down / 768 up, 2 static ip's for $40 a month CANADIAN! Here, I pay $55ish for a whole 768dn / 100k up, a dynamic ip and shitty ping. WTF. The Canadian dollar is worth less, so it stands to reason that the equipment costs more for the Canadian providers (because they take in canadian $, not us $) . . .

    bah, at least my dsl provider looks like they will be in service for the next month or so....
    • of course, unless you know /.'s ip, the above info is kinda useless. . .
      smacks self.
    • by Spy Hunter ( 317220 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @07:04PM (#2642184) Journal
      Let's do a little reverse-DNSing, shall we?

      I guess that's the curse of having a memorable IP address...
      • Ha! I didn't think you were serious until I did the nslookups myself. That is **waaaayyyy** too funny!
      • Re:more dns #'s (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ( 463190 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @09:20PM (#2642530) Homepage

        Kinda stupid, actually. "Hey, we've left our DNS servers accessible to the public with no access control, but please don't use them unless you're paying us"

        Most people configure their DNS servers to allow anyone to do a recursive lookup, because usually there's no point in using someone else's DNS as opposed to running your own or using your ISPs.

        If they wanted to prevent the public from using their DNS servers, they would have one set of servers only accessible to their own customers, and another set accessible to the world, but which only served domains they were hosting. It's very easy to do, so it's silly of them to insinuate that we're "stealing" by using name servers which have been deliberately left open.
        • so it's silly of them to insinuate that we're "stealing" by using name servers which have been deliberately left open

          The servers haven't necessarily been *deliberately* left open. Bringing up shows this to be some kind of unwanted stepchild between genuity and bbn. Wouldn't surprise me that whoever runs the network is doing a shoddy job at that dank little corner of their network.
        • Obviously if they really didn't want people outside they're network to use their DNS systems they would have set it up like that.

          It's probably just a joke, since their IPs are so easy to remember. There could be a lot of people who's DNS servers are down using these, maybe they just wanted to 'remind' people to use other DNS servers when they could find them, without cutting them off from the 'net.

          Not everyone is a humorless bastard, you know.
      • Re:more dns #'s (Score:2, Informative)

        by Agent Green ( 231202 )
        Actually, was set up as an intentional joke. All those servers are maintained by Genuity, and one of the guys in NetEng decided it'd be cute to toss in a funny reverse-resolve for the fourth address.

        Bear in mind, that doesn't work... :)
    • Re:more dns #'s (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jallen02 ( 124384 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @07:30PM (#2642252) Homepage Journal
      This gets said quite a bit. "Why does america xyz telecommunications service suck SOOOOO bad compared to abc countries xyz service?"

      Most other countries in the world are smaller. In some cases you can service an entire country with a stupidly small amount of infrastructure. Here in the states we are a huge sprawling country and rolling out a service to the ENTIRE country at once is plain damn tough. It is huge. Infrastructure takes time. It costs MONEY a lot more money to deploy that much infrastructure. Then you have to look at the demand for such services. Even at 40 a pop.

      I always get annoyed when people say "Why does'nt america have cool cellular networks like europe etc."

      because america is a big place and it costs money!

      ... Just my .02.

      • Oh come on, @home doesn't exactly service the entire country, infact they cherry picked the prime regions.
      • I always get annoyed when people say "Why does'nt america have cool cellular networks like europe etc."

        because america is a big place and it costs money!

        I hear ya... I used to do some web work for a Canadian travel company, and we had to put in some of the wierdest business alert rules you can imagine. Such things as "if you want to fly to Toronto, and rent a car to take a nice leisurely scenic drive to Vancouver, don't! It will take you 4 days to drive half-way across the country". It was a bit of a shock for European travellers to be in a country where you couldn't drive across the thing in 4 or 5 hours.

        Same thing goes for the wireless headspace.
    • Simply put... there's no such thing as an absolute value.
      The Canadian dollar is worth less? Well, yes. But the average canadian salary is ALSO less, and the cost of living is different.

      In the US, you have 10x the population, and enough people who can afford those higher prices.

      Comparing $ to $ is not valid.. you have to look at the overall picture. Yes, equipemt cost more if you break it down per cusotmer, because they make less of each customer.. but that's about it. Plus, you have to take into account the simpler telecom infrastructure.. I suspect we have less taxes and less beurocracy.
    • Re:more dns #'s (Score:2, Interesting)

      by FunkMonkey#9 ( 97796 )
      The Canadian dollar is worth less, so it stands to reason that the equipment costs more for the Canadian providers (because they take in canadian $, not us $) . . .

      There's a couple of very good reasons why high-speed service is a lot cheaper in Canada, and neither of them are the relative strength of the Canadian dollar.

      First and foremost, we have the CRTC. Those guys are in charge of regulating the Telecommunications industry, and they do a pretty good job (for the most part).

      Secondly, the major difference between telecom in Canada and the US is that phone companies in the US are run in their respective states. In Canada, telecommunications are regulated across Canada as a whole, which allows for lower overhead so far as providing amalgamated service to the entire country.

      Whew. Way too hot (25C+) in the office this evening. I hate working weekends; can't think straight. If anyone else comes up with something, feel free to, you know, discuss...

    • And of course plain old spite.

      While it's true that America has a really good infrastructure, we're also the cheapest. @home had a bad deal to start with (they only got about $16/mo/user). They just didn't charge enough money ($4 more a month/user and they'd be firmly in the black)

      The fact that the connection is going down is simply spite and more bad management. They want to get more money out of att, and they're trying to force the issue. All they're really doing is making the value of the network approach zero. Instead of $300 million (30 cents on the dollar for what they paid) they're going to get jack shit. And they deserve it too.
    • I honestly don't understand why the service costs so much in the usa

      It varies. I'm on Cablevison in the US, and I get 8 MBs down, 1.0 up for $29 US.

      15 ms ping to most places, too.
  • by loggia ( 309962 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:41PM (#2642113)
    Glad to see AT&T couldn't get away with their usual tactics again.

    With NorthPoint (former major DSL provider), a bankruptcy judge let AT&T buy NorthPoint's DSL lines for a song and let them cut off all of NorthPoint's 400,000 customers.

    Sound stupid? It was.

    Thank you, oh Judge Thomas Carlson of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco for at least giving the bondholders, the company and the customers some options, no matter how few they might be...
    • AT&T was not to blame for this. They offered to buy the bankrupt company. I hate to say it, but when your bankrupt, any offer is a good offer. But the bondholders at Excite were a bit arrogant and felt that by threating AT&T and the cable companys with cutting service they could force AT&T to buy them at a higher cost.

      That was extreme stupidity on thier part. It now appears AT&T, and maybe all the cable providers, are migrating away. What does that leave? A bankrupt Excite with no takers. Those bond holders now hold a stack of crap paper with no value.

      I applaud AT&T for thier resolute stand in this matter. I hope those greedy bond holders get what they deserve.

      For those who feel AT&T and the cables are just greedy companies....they are. But they do care about thier customers and have done thier best to continue thier service. Excites move to shut off service just shows their business model which explains much of why they are bankrupt. Goodbye Excite I wont miss you.
  • Perhaps... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bteeter ( 25807 )

    DSL wasn't such a bad way to go after all. Verizon isn't going away anytime soon, the service is fast, reliable and always on.

    Maybe this will be how the battle of DSL vs Cable will be decided - in bankruptcy court.

    Take care,

    Come and get a free Palm m100 [] --

  • AT&T press release (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mark19960 ( 539856 )
    here it is:,1354,4100,00.html it just seems like this is typical of AT&T they want it, so they will try to get it cheap, then cut the users loose. looks like the victim is once again, the consumer.
  • by ryanvm ( 247662 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:47PM (#2642139)
    Hmmm, with Excite pulling the plug on a large portion of its subscribers (AT&T), shouldn't that free up quite a bit of bandwith for the rest of the @Home customers (Insight, Comcast, Cox)?

    Maybe now I can return to the days of 50ms CounterStrike ping that I had in back January. Suhweet!

    Of course, that is until Excite pulls this shit again in 2 months.
  • by Wanker ( 17907 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:48PM (#2642142)
    One good solution for us linux-heads with home networks is to set up a caching-only DNS server. This is as simple as installing the "caching-nameserver" RPM (along with the bind RPM, of course). Then just configure all your servers to point to your caching nameserver host for DNS and you won't be at the mercy of AT&Ts nameservers any more.

    This let me bypass the AT&T nameservers that were having problems and get back online in no time.

    To test it first use this:

    $ nslookup
    > lserver
    Default server:
    Address: #53
    Address: #53

    Non-authoritative answer: canonical name =
    ... and so on ...
    > exit

    As I mentioned in a posting under the old article, static IP allocations are on hold until AT&T sorts out which networks go where in their internal network configuration databases. Those of us with static IP allocations will just have to wait a few weeks. (However, I've been told by DHCP users that generally AT&T does not aggressively recycle IPs, so even DHCP-based IPs tend to be fairly stable.)

    I should also add that the new AT&T DHCP equipment seems to work with linux's "pump" DHCP client, whereas the old Excite@Home equipment in my area did not.
  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @06:57PM (#2642167)
    In fact the entire state of Massachusetts is probably fine. Strangely enough, I expected a rollover to new DNS servers and a new IP address when @home cut us off, but I think the network here in Massachusetts must largely be old MediaOne stuff that AT&T bought along with MediaOne, since my DNS servers (all 3 of them) and routes outward and inward appear completely intact. Email is probably out, but I've never used their email service so I wouldn't know. In fact, I wouldn't even know there was a problem at all if I didn't read /. (and

    I wish we still had the old RoadRunner service - dunno why the hell AT&T BB dropped them for Excite@Home a few months ago - I guess because the rest of the AT&T BB customers are on @home, but I would gladly pay an extra 5 bucks a month if RR had jacked our rates up as I think they did with lots of their customers, if they had given us a good, solid reliable network. When will people get it through their thick skulls - I don't WANT content from my ISP, the excite part of Excite@Home was therefore useless to me and anyone who is halfway clueful, and the @home part had the worst service ever. What a moronic move on AT&T's part.

    • When will people get it through their thick skulls - I don't WANT content from my ISP, the excite part of Excite@Home was therefore useless to me and anyone who is halfway clueful, and the @home part had the worst service ever.

      The morons in AT&T management were probably trying to copy the AOL model. What people like that cannot understand is that AOL have already captured the market for internet access targetted at clueless dweebs. The people who want that type of service will buy it from AOL anyway.

      The first I knew that Excite had become involved was when I got the mail explaining how my cable modem service might go out. This appears to explain why I now get two bills for my cable modem, one that always reads zero and the other that has a balance. And these guys wonder why they sometime don't get paid for a month.

      I suspect that what AT&T have done is to get the service delivery part of the network up. The piece that tends to be time consuming is dealing with billing issues etc - the part that excite was meant to be doing. So a few hundered folk will probably be able to steal internet service for a month or two.

      The ironic thing is that the bondholders turned off the network to try to get more cash out of AT&T by holding their customers to ransom, the end result of their machinations is likely to be that they get nothing.

  • Just saw this press release [] stating that Covad is offering @Home customers the opportunity to switch any @Home customer to DSL for free (free hardware & install).

    Might be worth investigating...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2001 @07:11PM (#2642205)

    I'm not sure it will help a lot of people, but this is what I just did to get reconnected. (Gotta feed the /. habit.) I'm in Fort Collins, CO if that's relevant to anyone. I haven't got a phone call from AT&T yet. But that may well be on account of the phone number they have listed for me is disconnected right now.

    I did try sending out DHCP requests before doing this, but never got any replies. I wouldn't call this course of action exceptionally friendly behaviour. But the web sites AT&T listed in some email this past week are either unreachable [] or have nothing helpful [].

    • Listen for IP traffic coming over the modem. I did tcpdump -n -i eth0 and figured that the not-10.x.x.x router doing all the ARP requests was the neighborhood router.
    • Make note of several of the IP addresses that the router continues to ask for and stop tcpdump. Also note the suspected router address.
    • Set your IP address to one of the addresses from the previous step (see ifconfig(8) for help on that.) Add a default route through the router you found in the last step. route add -net default x.x.x.x )
    • Hope someone follows up with a suggestion on getting DHCP working again or that you get a phone call from AT&T.
    • You may well be hijacking someone else's legitimate IP address. And quite possibly violating your AUP in the process.
    • Your cable modem does need to think it has a good connection to the network. Look for a set of lights glowing steadily. Or if it has a web interface, look at that. My RCA cable modem has a status page at []

    Good Luck!

  • it appears to use/call a series of VB scripts.

    There is now a little systray utility run from the startup section in the registry...I hate it when installers do that... best thing about 98se and msconfig...uncheck...done.

    Not too bright, IMO, to be using VBS for this..bat file would work just as well.

    I "can't/won't" run them (VB scripts), as anything with a .vbs extnesion is associated with notepad...heheee.
  • Irony (Score:2, Funny)

    by quantaman ( 517394 )
    Any one else see the irony in the multitude of posts telling people how to get back on line?
  • by denovich ( 25859 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @07:53PM (#2642300) Homepage
    ...assuming you even have a connection. Less for More! Horray.

    I cliped this from ATT's broadband support page:

    I Understand that AT&T Broadband Has Changed Downstream Speeds on the New Service. Why are You Limiting Downstream Bandwidth?

    The new AT&T Broadband Internet network as been built to optimize our customers' high-speed Internet experience. This means that customers speed settings will be set at 1.5 MB downstream and 128kb upstream to ensure that all customers receive an optimized broadband experience. These speed settings are part of our continuous effort to provide customers with the fastest, most consistent broadband service at the lowest possible price. Our lightning-fast connection enhances Internet experiences through fast e-mail communication, quick access to research and surfing, a fantastic gaming experience, quick video clip and music downloads and a whole lot more. The AT&T Broadband Internet network also has been built for future advanced service offerings. We're examining tiered speeds as a future service enhancement in addition to other offerings.

  • Corporate Warfare (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ahde ( 95143 )
    You are all aware that Excite@Home was just bought at pennies on the dollar by Microsoft? This is the first strike in a corporate warfare between AT&T and the Redmond giant. Did you notice how the article quotes a Microsoft employee (from Sammamish, Washington) who blames AT&T for service being cut off --and threatens a lawsuit, when it was actually Microsoft that pulled the plug?

    Microsoft's ultimate target is AOL/Time Warner, but they need the broadband infrastructure that AT&T has before they take on AOL. They've already got Qwest, and are forcing virtually all DSL subscribers west of the Mississippi (outside California) to use a proprietary MSN and sign up for Passport. Expect Real Networks to fall soon too, unless they ally with AOL.
    • Re:Corporate Warfare (Score:3, Informative)

      by Legion303 ( 97901 )
      They've already got Qwest, and are forcing virtually all DSL subscribers west of the Mississippi (outside California) to use a proprietary MSN and sign up for Passport.

      This is incorrect. I've had DSL for a couple of years now at three different locations, and I've used the same local ISP every time. There has never been any push or even a suggestion from Qwest for me to use MSN.

      I hate Qwest and MS as much as the next guy, but let's stick to facts.


  • by PureFiction ( 10256 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @08:25PM (#2642414)
    First: Oregon and Washington are the only states that AT&T is able to connect on their new network at this time. See []

    If you are in one of those two states, you will notice that your cable modem is still synch'ed up, and that any site you try and reach will take you to this AT&T page: .html []

    This is because you are using the OLD @home nameservers, which AT&T has replaced to resolve ALL DNS lookups to their migration help site.

    The fix is as simple as it reads in the Manually Configuring Unsupported Operating Systems page []

    1. Fire up a dhcp client. In my case, all I needed to issue was the command:
    • $ dhcpcd eth1
    2. Check your DNS servers (/etc/resolv.conf) and remove any of the old @home servers. The new IPs I got were:

    3. If you have any machines inside a NAT network, you need to update their DNS server lists as well (unless your gateway is set as the DNS)

    4. Change your outgoing SMTP server to instead of the * host.

    And that should do it! I was actually surprised how easy it was to get back online after they made the changes. I was dreading bringing out the old 56k modem again.

    Lets home the remaining states get their access back soon as well...

  • Welcome manders1 ...
    Connecting to server. Please wait...
    Connected to
    Sat, December 01 2001 12:11PM Mountain Standard Time ro m=chat
    Hello! Welcome to AT&T @Home's Online Customer Support Center. Your session ID # is 1479181.
    We apologize for the delay and appreciate your patience. A message from a customer care specialist should appear in the chat window shortly.
    To quickly find answers to questions you may have about your AT&T@Home service, check out our Fast Answers to Questions section above.
    To view any possible service interruptions in your area and to access other timesaving tools, click on the Service Tools section on the left navigation panel above.
    In-Angela Stone has joined this session!
    You say: Hello
    In-Angela Stone says: Thank you for contacting AT&TBroadband Internet.My name is Angela; I understand you are having issue with connectivity.I would be glad to assist you with the same.
    You say: I'd like to discontinue my service
    In-Angela Stone says: In order to assist you with this, may I please have your first and last name, telephone number, complete home address, primary login,
    and personal access code?
    You say: Michael Anderson
    You say: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
    You say: 123 somewhere Circle, San Ramon ca 94583
    You say: I dont "log in" to @Home
    You say: I believe my user name is manders1
    In-Angela Stone says: Thank you for the information.Please stand by for a moment.
    You say: I use my own mail server etc so i've never needed my @home log in
    In-Angela Stone says: May I know if you are sure you want to disconnect the services?
    You say: I dont know, may you?
    You say: whats your question?
    In-Angela Stone says: Michael, may I know why do you want to discontinue the services?
    You say: I've paid you guys probably $1500 dollars or more over the last three years or so....
    You say: Now I am disconnected
    You say: YES I want to discontinue my service DUH!
    In-Angela Stone says: I am sincerely sorry for all the trouble this .
    You say: fortunately my Telocity back up DSL service is functioning fine so that I
    can 'chat' with you about being disconnected
    You say: can we get on with it?
    In-Angela Stone says: Due to Excite@Home's bankruptcy filing, we are transitioning your service to an AT&T network.
    You say: Please disontinue my account NOW!
    In-Angela Stone says: During this transition, your service will be temporarily unavailable.
    You say: what am I talking to eliza here?
    You say: The humor is probably lost on you
    You say: please disconnect me
    You say: (from the @home network)
    You say: quit billing me
    You say: stop my service
    In-Angela Stone says: Okay Michael, kindly standby.
    You say: Today is Saturday, December 01, 2001
    You say: The day on which I discontinue my @Home/ATT Broadband service
    You say: The day on which I quit paying $58.79 a month
    You say: Thats an extrea $705.00 dollar per year for ME
    In-Angela Stone says: I am sincerely sorry for all the trouble this has caused you.
    You say: Boy for $705 per year you'd expect REALLY good service
    You say: You don't need to apologize. It has caused me no trouble because I have a backup service
    You say: I dont trust you guys
    You say: It amuses me thats all
    You say: ATT loses $705 not me why should I be upset?
    You say: I still have service as you can see
    You say: I've already told you what I want
    You say: I assume you are handling it
    You say: what reason is there for me to need to
    You say: "hang on"
    In-Angela Stone says: Michael, I have forwarded your issue to the required department.They will do the needful for you.
    You say: OK fine so are we done or what?
    In-Angela Stone says: I have forwarded your request , now they will do the needful Michael.
    You say: also there is nothing 'needful' other than to quit billing me which will happen in any event once I inform my card company of my desires
    You say: What more do you need of me?
    You say: Hello?
    In-Angela Stone says: Michael, as I have forwarded your request.
    You say: Yes?
    In-Angela Stone says: They will do the needful.
    You say: Youill discontinue my service?
    You say: yes?
    You say: is that it?
    You say: are we done?
    You say: Is this a computer?
    You say: I am talkin to eliza aren't I
    You say: how humiliating
    In-Angela Stone says: Micheal you are chatting with a humann being.
    You say: prove it
    You say: You still sound like eliza
    In-Angela Stone says: Michael, yes they will discontinue your services.
    You say: Thanks, so are we done?
    You say: Come on I need 'closure'
    In-Angela Stone says: Yes Michael.
    In-Angela Stone says: Thank you for contacting AT&TBroadband Internet, goodbye.
    You say: excellent, bye
    The session has en
    • Hey, cool! Abuse a frontline phone monkey for the stupid actions of her managers! Way to go!

      Too bad you couldn't have slapped her around a little too, to show her who the man was, eh?


  • by kcbrown ( 7426 ) <> on Saturday December 01, 2001 @09:11PM (#2642516)
    By turning off all their subscribers, Excite@home has effectively made an enemy of AT&T. Now that they've done this, I see one of two outcomes:
    1. Excite@home will turn the services back on and take the offer they were given (if that's even possible!)


    2. AT&T will finish transitioning their customers to their own internal network and tell Excite@home to go fsck themselves.

    So if Excite doesn't turn their network back on VERY soon, like in the next day or so, they're toast: AT&T has the cash and resources to manage their cablemodem subscribers themselves. Once Excite@home no longer has anyone hooked up to their network, their value will drop through the floor.

    In short, even though the offer they were given probably wasn't very good (it was probably really bad, actually), now that they've shut down their customers they're dead. And if I were AT&T, I'd see to it that the floor was wiped with Excite@home in retaliation for screwing over my customers.

    The only variable I know of here that can affect the outcome is the rate at which cablemodem subscribers bail out and go with some other service, for those that can. Since it takes at least a couple of weeks for most DSL connections to be provisioned and configured, the only immediate competition that AT&T will lose customers to is dialup, which isn't terribly comparable. So I think AT&T is pretty safe when it comes to keeping their customers for the next couple of weeks. As long as they can transition the vast majority of their customers in that amount of time, they're safe, and that means that Excite@home has managed to fsck themselves good with this idiotic move.

    • by trenton ( 53581 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .lnotnert.> on Saturday December 01, 2001 @11:10PM (#2642756) Homepage
      Excite@Home actually didn't make the decision to turn off the modems. The bondholders that financed Excite@Home did. AT&T's offer was so low, they stood to loose tons of money if the deal went through. So, they filed a law suit and had a judge COMPEL Excite@Home to turn off the service. Their reason for this was that keeping the modems on was costing 6 million per week, thus causing the company to lose even more money.

      It still remains to be seen if the bondholders will come out ahead. They claim that the assets of Excite@Home alone are worth much more than AT&T's buyout offer of $307 million. I guess they're waiting for a better offer.

      But, to be sure, pissing off 850,000 people is sure going to lower the value of Excite@Home.

      • It still remains to be seen if the bondholders will come out ahead. They claim that the assets of Excite@Home alone are worth much more than AT&T's buyout offer of $307 million. I guess they're waiting for a better offer.

        It's funny how things are only worth as much as people are willing to pay for them.
  • Sources at Excite@Home told Dotcom Scoop that the company planned to "send a message to one of the cable companies" by switching off service to customers.

    They sent a message to their customers too. "We don't give a shit about you."

    Forget Microsoft, these regional monopolies on cable bandwidth really show the problems that can happen when only one company has control. I mean, these guys just don't give a shit. I mean, sure the company is totally fucked, (so nothing for customers to be loyal to if they could be) but rather than "Sorry, we screwed up, but we're going to do everything we can to keep you guys connected." they're basically saying "We screwed up, fortunately for us, you guys can all help pay the price! Despite the fact that all you did was pay us what we asked and dealt with our crappy service".

    Personally, I think this is just more of the same shitty management. It's a shame that companies feel that they can be
  • by pdqlamb ( 10952 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @10:16PM (#2642641)
    AT&T, for all its problems, is the only one of their top three customers that has a chance of reconnecting its cable customers in a timely fashion. Why would excite go after the capable one, instead of making an example of Comcast or Charter?

    Mind you, since I'm on Comcast, I don't mind...

  • by Legion303 ( 97901 ) on Saturday December 01, 2001 @10:18PM (#2642643) Homepage
    Awhile back, after getting sick of excite@home's spam and their ignoring my complaints, I complained to their advertisers directly, asking if they really wanted to be associated with a bunch of spamming morons who were about to be sued. I think their advertisers backed out, and that's the reason for this mess.

    My bad.


  • Why this happened. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Syberghost ( 10557 )
    Ok, I've been telling you guys for a couple years now that cable modem companies couldn't make money at $40 a month, that they'd break even closer to $50 a month.

    Now, we have a cable modem provider charging $40 a month, and losing $6 million a week from 4 million customers.

    That means they'd break even if they were taking in an extra $6 a month per subscriber. Assume 33% for income tax, it comes out to $9 more per month per subscriber.

    In other words, somewhere between $46 and $49 a month, they break even...

    Gee, imagine that.

    Meanwhile, RoadRunner is charging around $45 to $50 a month, if you also have cable TV, which is where they make all the money, and they're not going out of business. All you @Home folks who were bragging 'cause you were paying less, and especially those of you who were bitching that $40 a month was unreasonably high, congratulations; you priced yourself back into dialup.
    • Ok, I've been telling you guys for a couple years now that cable modem companies couldn't make money at $40 a month, that they'd break even closer to $50 a month.

      @Home was getting $12/month from AT&T etc. They claim they would make money at $16/mo.
  • How do they get to this site to read all this sage advice?

    Chicken & egg, a web site saying if you can't get online do this.
  • I think the customers of @home need to take a serious look at a more reliable system of internet connectivity than the TCP-IP over Excite@Home. The IP over Avian Carrier (RFC1149) [] may just do the trick.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"