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Excite@Home & Comcast/AT&T Reach Agreement 196

whee writes: "Through a $160 million deal, it looks like Comcast users will have Excite@Home supplied access for at least more three months (press release). Comcast anticipates moving existing customers over to a new Comcast-owned and managed network before the new contract expires." As well, it appears that the folks who were using AT&T's brand of Excite@Home are back online - as this press release said. T: CNET also has a story on the 3-way deal.
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Excite@Home & Comcast/AT&T Reach Agreement

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  • Comcast users will have Excite@Home supplied access for at least more
    three months

    more three months? what the hell?
    • Yoda must have wrote this post.

      Exite@home transfer from you must. Hmmmmmmmm.

    • Re:dyslexia anyone? (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      not to be rude, but i think this should be said -

      i have dyslexia, and it not what people think it is. contrary to popular belief, it is not seeing words out of order, and not even (exactly) seeing words written backwards (i.e. was = saw). dyslexia is the inability (or resistence) of the mind to break a word into its components (syllables). this means that text is read pictorially/graphically, instead of phoenetically (which leads to the was = saw stuff).

      its pretty useful though b/c i think it helps me remember symbol names in long math proofs and code :-)
  • by tcd004 ( 134130 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2001 @01:38AM (#2652680) Homepage
    Try NOT@HOME []!

  • Comcast@home was supposed to be available in Norris, TN since about a month or so ago. Is it here yet? Nope, they seem to just be dragging their feet. Every week I stop by a Comcast kiosk at a local mall, and they tell me the same thing, "Nope. Not there yet," with no indication of when it will be here. This means I'll likely be waiting three more months to get it...
    • Took Comcast 4 years from their introduction date to bring cable modem service to Tallahassee. Just like college football rivalries, they kept saying 'Wait until next year'.
  • Just got back online (Score:5, Informative)

    by dfeldman ( 541102 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2001 @01:43AM (#2652687) Homepage
    After the initial euphoria from being able to let my family use the phone again after a loooong weekend, I noticed a few differences in my new AT&T service:
    • My IP address had been switched and my hostname is considerably simpler (if as cryptic) as before.
    • Ping times are much better to most sites. I'm getting 15ms to yahoo right now.
    • Bandwidth appears to be capped around 768kbit down, 64kbit up. But I have not gotten less than 768kbit down on any of the several downloads I tried this evening (that included an apt-get update and 2.4.16 source tarball).
    • I can't see netbios broadcasts from my neighbors anymore, but their connections are verifiably up. Good.
    • DNS resolution is slow, so apt-get bind and set yourself up a caching nameserver.
    • DHCP seems flaky. My neighbors had 169.254 "windows autoconfigure" IP addresses until they entered their new IP manually.
    • Calling support is futile. It either disconnects or gives me a busy signal.
    • Overall I'm very happy this didn't take a lot longer. I was popping Prozac Friday night.


    • No one is saying anything about email? I'm in Chicago and I'm not back online yet. I'm getting calls from my friends and family telling me their email to me is bouncing back with cryptic error codes.

      I'm assuming that AT&T is (rightfully) concentrating on getting everyone back online first, then email and personal webspace will follow - but I'm curious about how long this will take. I'm not looking forward to changing everything over (again) and letting everyone know what my new address is (we were just moved from in October, and yes, I do have a webmail account - call me old-fashioned, but I do prefer to have real email)
      • "yes, I do have a webmail account - call me old-fashioned, but I do prefer to have real email"

        I prefer real email, too. Over the years, I've jumped from AOL (long, long ago) to a local, shell-based ISP (back when SLIP access wasn't a flat-rate) to a college big pipe connection to a work big pipe connection (with FreeZero when I had to dialup from home) to a national PPP-based ISP to residential DSL. It almost goes without saying that I do not consider email artificially tied to my connection provider to be "real" email.

        One idea is to get a number of geek friends together, pool your resources, and see about getting a couple email accounts hosted somewhere.

    • I was a Charter@home subscriber before, and now I have been switched to Charter Pipeline. Let me say that I am completely unsatisfied so far. This is not a new service that they are throwing together as a stop-gap, but it sure seems that way. I am experiencing major problems with lag, disconnects, and what can best be described as some type of arp expiration. I have to periodically kill and rerun dhclient to get the service to start working decently again.

      All this for less bandwidth than before -- and oh yes, for $5 more a month. If @home survives and continues to offer service in my area, I will definitely be going back to them. Just to spite the cable companies if necessary.

      I think everyone should try to use @home or other non-cable-operated systems. Don't let the greedy cable monopolies become the exclusive providers of this service or else you will see them raising your cable modem rates as fast as the raise the cable rates.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      as an employee of AT&T:

      . IP is 12.x.x.x

      . ping times are better b/c most of the country
      has yet to be converted to the new network -- as of Monday at 7:55am EST only OR, WA, and parts of TX were back online.

      . 1.5mbs down, 768k up

      . some serious DNS issues were going on on Sunday and into Monday. A good majority of people could not even access sites without using the IP

      . no one got their "new IP" manually. If they did then they rogued it. DHCP was fine.

      . You aren't calling the right number. 1-888-262-6300

      As a person that was dealing with the issue on the other end...

      . Most people were cool about the whole ordeal. I only dealt with a single fucker. He was switching to DSL. I waved bye.

      . A lot of things are being added to the services offered by AT&T for those on the new network. Webmail, more webserver space, etc.

      . As far as how fast AT&T dumped the crap in our laps. I am not a fan. We shall see how the rest of the conversions go, and we shall see how the speeds handle that many people.
  • I still don't have service in Sunnyvale, CA and my friend in Mountain View does yet he is literally 2 miles away, maybe less.
  • by cpritchett ( 210923 ) <cpritchett42@gm a i l .com> on Tuesday December 04, 2001 @01:48AM (#2652704)
    I don't particularly care for the way this whole excite@home situation has been dealt with on a public relations front. Personally, I had to email my service provider to get information concerning this, and then they suggest things like "Check our website for updates."
    I can't do that if I don't have service..

    You would think that in an age where people have become dependent on the internet for just about everything that these companies should be obligated to tell you when they are just going to cut you off, or when they really don't know what's going to happen. It's not like you've violated your end of the deal and they have the right to "discontinue service at any time."
    • if you emailed them, isn't it an appropriate assumption on their part that you have some sort of web access?
    • It's not like you've violated your end of the deal and they have the right to "discontinue service at any time."

      Read your contract lately?

      I would bet that your cable internet provider is allowed to terminate yours service at any time (given reasonable notice), whether or not you have violated your end of the deal.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    AT+T was NOT part of this deal. AT+T has not made a deal with @Home. Comcast has NOT bought AT+Ts cable buisness (yet). AT+T IS moving customers to their own network infrastructure. AT+T had moved 10% shortly after the plug got pulled. AT+T has NOW moved 40%. They plan to move the rest by Friday. Sheesh.

    READING IS FUNDAMENTAL. Try it sometime.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yep... AT&T didn't want to pay them $100million just to get 50% of thier customers connected for 1 week... and i wouldnt either..

      Cox is the other MSO cable co. in that "3-way deal", they paid excite (along with comcast) 160million for the next 3 months... after those 3 months, they'll have all thier customers up and running on thier own cox run network.
      personally I can't wait...

      interesting note though:
      $160 million over 3 months is $53 mil a month, $1.7mil a day..

      last i heard, cox and comcast has a little under a million @home customers each.. (call it a mil for easy calc's) that's $53+ per subscriber, per month.. and they only charge $35-49 per month??? the MSO's are getting BONED in this deal... but excite had thier nuts in a sling. they had to go along with it...

      but it's good to see those companies who would rather lose some money and actually watch out for thier subscribers than to take the easy way out.
    • Agreed, slashdot really needs to actually get some editors that know what facts are and fabricated information is.

      example ...

      We reacted quickly. Customers had been notified earlier that this might occur. In Michigan an auto-dialer started calling customers at 9:00 AM Saturday and an e-mail was sent to Minnesota customers. 700 additional call-center resources were brought on-line around the country to help answer customer inquiries. Calls were 300% over normal loads and customers overflowed into the Minnesota call-center and inbound sales. Although many calls were received, call center personnel reported that most were courteous and simply in search of additional information.

      AT&T told excite to stuff it and their extra crappy service. AT&T is lighting up a broadband solution that has been engineered basically overnight by the best and brightest that cisco and AT&T has.

      This is possibly the best thing to ever happen to AT&T, and the fact will shine through over the next few months.
  • it appears that the folks who were using AT&T's brand of Excite@Home are back online

    Well, most things are working again here in Sunnyvale, California. However, if you call AT&T's tech support line, they indicate trouble in California and few other states. For me, the trouble appears to be that I can get to some big sites like slashdot, but a lot of obscure sites are not coming up. I wonder if this is a caching problem -- anything really popular is still cached by AT&T, anything not popular is a "black hole" for me.

    • Sacramento is still down. I've got a friend over there that does a live internet talk radio show [], syndicated to a few stations, and he's pissed as hell because he called three times during the week, and they assured him there would be no interruption at all.


    • I followed the instruction to setup DHCP, bu the anonying AT&T page still shows up whenever I went to visit any other sites, like,, only slashdot is working.... It is cache problem? I am in Sunnyvale Carlifornia also....
      • ling, set your router (if you use one) to release the IP, then on Windows boxes run "winipcfg" and release the IP, then restart everything -- reboot the router, reboot the computers. The computers will ask for new info, and the router will give those computers new info.

  • The title and the news peice make it sound as if ATT reached a deal with @home, and ATT@HOME is back. This is not true. ATT has reached no deal with @home, and is switching all its customers over to its network. Anyway, it was misleading.
  • by corky6921 ( 240602 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2001 @01:51AM (#2652712) Homepage
    I am one of the many AT&T@Home customers who got switched off this weekend. I was notified by phone that it would be 7 days before my Internet connection was back up again. I was pleasantly surprised to find it up and running when I got back home from work tonight. I set my ethernet card to DHCP and was off and running as soon as it grabbed an IP.

    Anyway, I was just reading the other article about @Home, and noticed the many complaints about the new 1.5MBps download cap. All I can say is, Are you serious? After using dialup for two days, I'm glad I have broadband again!

    Let's look at the facts:

    -- I had Speakeasy DSL at my old place of residence. I got 5 static IPs and a 1.5 down/384 up connection for $100 a month. Now, for half that price, I get the same download speed. I really don't think there is a complaint to be made there.

    -- The Speakeasy/Covad/PacBell trio took six weeks to get my DSL installed. I found I had to reset the modem every month or so because it would myseriously give up the ghost. My cable modem was installed at 8AM the day after I called, and running by 8:30 that same morning.
    I have only once had to reset my cable modem, excluding this weekend's outage.

    --AT&T said that they would take 7 days to get those of us in the Bay Area back up. They took 3. Not bad, considering this was pretty much unexpected on their end.

    -- As some of you in the Bay Area know, the @Home gateway out of San Jose was completely overtaxed. My ping on my favorite Quake III server went from 27 to 100 within the past couple of months. Now that I'm on AT&T's new network, my ping is 50 -- quite acceptable.

    For those of you whining about the 1.5MBps cap, I say go back to dialup. Better yet, sign on with PacBell DSL. You'll get 608/128 (yes, less than half the speed you get now) for the same price. Plus, you'll get idiots from tech support and billing problems (by the time I cancelled PacHell and moved to cable modem at my current place of residence, they had managed to rack up over $900 of incorrect charges on my account, which took 4 months to resolve.)

    Let's not forget that there are still millions of broadband-starved people in this world. I should think that there are better things to complain about than the fact that your $40 a month broadband connection went from sometimes-incredibly-super-fast to still-fast-but-maybe-not-as-fast-as-it-was-before. We should give AT&T credit for handling this well and for getting us online in half the time they originally promised.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      PacBell DSL is 1.5Mbit/128, same as the 'new' cable modem experience.

      AT&T isn't stupid. They can't provide less than DSL, or they'd lose customers. They can't provide more, or they'd lose money.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        The thing is, though, with PacBell, your download speed varies GREATLY depending on how far you are from the phone company. The fastest I've seen it is 608/128 (which is what they used to guarantee as a minimum; now it's 384 minimum so they can provide service to people who are further out.)

        On the other hand, cable is almost always going to be around 1.5MBps, which makes cable a better value. Plus, cable companies have the upper hand because they can provide service to more customers without having to worry about distances and "electronics" and such. You can't beat the 24-hours-or-less signup-to-surfing that AT&T has out here.

    • I've been hearing reports that the cap is temporary as the transition goes through. Apperently there's no way AT&T can handle everybody at full speed so they're capping it to at least the network can stay UP. I guess we'll wait and see.
    • I'm in sunnyvale and I've had a 128/384/1.5 burstable connection for quite some time now for ~50 bucks a month. I called ATT 4 times and got the run around, no would ever come out. Had this DSL like ordered and up in 7 days.
    • 1.5Mbit CAP?? Here in the NE we've ALWAYS had a 1.5Mbit cap. . .what type of bandwidth were you getting before the cap???
    • We should give AT&T credit for handling this well and for getting us online in half the time they originally promised.

      Not so fast... I'm in Chicago, which is a pretty big market, and I'm still not on-line. Why don't we see how long it takes them to get *everyone* back on-line before we start suckin' each other's dicks?

    • you need to remember that those that are complaining are those that have no clue or are the 13 year old trollers.

      T1 speed for $50.00 a month? Hell yeah I'll take that.. I was paying $1500.00 a month for a T1 into my company what does that give me? a static IP range and the right to set up internet servers.

      anyone that is bitching about the speed is pretty much clueless.

  • Any hope of keeping existing customers flew out the window already, they might as well give up.
  • The line that worries me is regarding "converting" my account to their new scheme. Sounds like a good time for them to raise prices (again) or lower services. Lets hope not.

    (attached letter from comcast)
    Dear Comcast @Home Customer,

    I am pleased to announce that Comcast has reached an agreement with Excite@Home,
    pending approval from the Bankruptcy Court, that provides you with uninterrupted
    high-speed Internet service. Comcast's first priority is to provide you
    with reliable and high-quality service. This agreement also will ensure
    a smooth transition from your current service to an improved, all-Comcast
    managed Internet service in the weeks ahead.

    Comcast High-Speed Internet will provide you with the high-speed, always-on
    connection you've come to enjoy. This new Comcast service also will offer
    improved reliability, customer support and features, such as "e-mail from
    anywhere" with web-based e-mail and an innovative storage solution for
    MP3s and photos.

    We will provide you with notification and instructions on how to convert
    your account to Comcast High-Speed Internet before we introduce service
    in your area. In addition, Comcast will continue to provide you with regular
    updates on our toll-free hotline at 1-888-433-6963 and on our website at

    Having this agreement in place is an important piece to ensuring a smooth
    transition to Comcast High-Speed Internet. We appreciate your loyalty
    as a customer and apologize for any inconvenience you have been caused
    in the last week. We will continue to aggressively strive to provide you
    the best high-speed Internet service and support possible. Thank you for
    choosing Comcast.


    David Juliano
    Senior Vice President, Comcast Online Communications
  • by grandfenwick ( 31075 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2001 @02:12AM (#2652749) @Home. Let's break it down, shall we?

    1) The $320 million Comcast and Cox (NOT AT&T) are paying @Home will be the last revenue @Home will ever see. Both Comcast and Cox are planning to have their users migrated to their own networks well in advance of the expiration of the 90-day contract term.

    2) By flipping the bird to AT&T, @Home lost whatever bargaining leverage it had with them. AT&T said they could have their network up and running in short order, and they appear well on track to do so. I'm one of the disconnected AT&T@Home users, and here in San Mateo CA, we were down for a total of 48 hours. I was back up this morning with full connectivity. (And to all you people whinging about the AWFUL 1.5Mbps download cap, please inform me where you can get T-1 speed for under $50/month and I'll gladly sign up. Didn't think so.)

    3) Item 2 above led directly to today's all-hands at @Home where CEO Patti Hart announced that @Home is history [] after the Comcast and Cox contracts finish on March 1, 2002. AT&T has pulled their bid for the company, and barring a rescue at the 11th hour, @Home will convert their Chapter 11 filing to Chapter 7 in March.

    Add them all up, and that's one dead company. Maybe AT&T did put them in this position, but speaking for the subscribers, we really don't care whose fault it was.

  • I'm noticing >500ms ping times to a local router beyond my cable box - a symptom that I've seen happen before they disable modems. Upon calling Adelphia (Carlsbad, San Diego, CA), they said that they're sutting off today.

    It should be coming back online on/around Dec 16th as a new local service.

    - ez

    (Just FYI)
  • My access has been off since Friday and is still off. One of my friends wrote an angry letter and was told service should be restored later this week. But as all broadband users know, even an hour without access sucks major ass, so a week is completely intolerable.

    Couldn't AT&T just pretend to stay in negotiations so @home wouldn't turn off access before they set up the new network?
  • I've got Cox@Home and haven't seen any interruption as a result of this. It looks like Cox has the sam $160M deal for 3 months. See press release at [].
  • From the press release:

    Upstream and downstream speeds will be managed to provide a faster and more consistent broadband service

    I'd heard rumors that the much bemoaned 128kbps upload cap would be joined by a 1.5mbps download cap, and the quote from their press release seems to confirm this. Last week, my downloads benchmarked to about 4.5mbps (courtesy of, but now I'm getting a little under 1mbps. No complaints for now, though -- I'm just happy to be back online.

    PS - Don't wait for AT&T to call you. I unplugged my modem for 30 seconds, renewed my DHCP (or you can reboot your PC), and voila, I'm back online! (Petaluma, California)

  • Hi all, Im an at&t client and we got back connection this morning in the SF bay area, although no real transfers till this evening as they were litterally pluggin/unplugging hardware down at the center. after over 3 hrs on the phone on hold (not including the 2 trying to get on hold) a tech told me he had no idea what my new ip, dns, router info should be becasue there computer apps were down. so no help cept to give me the address and try using winipcfg on one of my PC's to reset the modem haha. anyway my final solution was to run their "confuiguator" on one of the networked computers through my lynksys firwall/router to get the connection stable. As to all of you whining, sush and go find another provider, these boys work hard to keep us up and running. also one question as of now i an a dynamic address, but would really like a static back that i had for the last year. anyone know if at&t will be providing that service again? thanks all
  • Because of the new contracts, some industry insiders say, Excite@Home will likely be sold for pennies on the dollar--if any buyer at all steps forward.

    Maybe Slash could buy it. Or better yet sell it to MS, and help bleed the beast of Remond as they desperately try to show how to run things right.


  • by Munky ( 59338 )
    As well, it appears that the folks who were using AT&T's brand of Excite@Home are back online
    Yeah, back online through NETZERO! Do you have any idea how slow netzero is? I read that, got all excited, turned my modem back on, and then discovered that it still won't sync. Thanks for nothing! hehe
  • After came back from work tonight, I was surprised that my cable modem was syncing up again. Tried to set my gateway to DHCP mode and soon the browser leads me the welcome page... I found there is actually nothing informational, for surfing the net, you only need to setup dynamically grabbing a IP address instead of the priveious static one (Look like my static IP is gone now.. :(().

    Unfortunately I found I can not go anywhere else, although I can ping anywhere I like. Whenever I fired up the browser, I will go to the anonying Weclome page automatically no matter which address I keyed in... :((

    Surprising, I can visit, of course all the external links don't work. I can only view the post here and the headline inside of Slashdot... It is ok to post something here, but what's the problem? Do I missing anything in the setup? The AT&T phone service is damned, nobody answering it, and hang up directly after you pounch the "1" key.... Help needed.. or information needed... please tell me your experience and the transition...

  • @Home's real product is/was its caching system, making it possible for people to actually get the vast speeds that so-called broadband promises but cannot deliver alone.

    As I've said before, the fastest pipe does no good if it's only getting water from a trickling spring.

    Their caching techniques will remain, @Home has made its contribution to the infrastructure knowledge base of this I-net thing, and we all move on.

    If there is a market, someone will step in to fill it. If it is cheaper for Comcast, ATT, Cox Cablevision and Big Bob's Bait, Tackle & Routing to buy some level of service from an "@Home" style of super ISP, then such a thing will happen again.

    @Home's failure doesn't get me down. I worked with many of those same people at different times, the people and their skills remain alive and well and ready to move on to the next project.

    How's Juniper stock doing, anyway?

    Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.


    • Caching techniques: are you referring to the proxy that customers who install the @Home software go through? 99% of people who are aware they are using this proxy realize that it's a horribly slow way to go (and get rid of it.) Of course, it's great for the provider, because slow surfing = less bandwidth.
  • Well, first of all, it sucks that AT&T forced the @home bankrupcy. But had @home's finances been in order, it wouldn't have happened. They made some bad decisions, drained their cash reserves, incured debt, and put themselves in a vulnerable position. AT&T just smelled an easy buy, and went for it. Everybody loves Capitalism, and this is its finest hour.

    The sad part is that @home is pretty much dead. I was a customer of Rogers@home. Now it's just Rogers (for those who do not know, Rogers is the cable monopoly in Toronto, Canada). They made the transition, and while it was pretty messy, it's done. And you can be sure they're not moving back to @home. They took 400 000 subscribers away from the 4mil that @home had. Same for Shaw@home (which is another Canadian cable company). That's another 2-300 000 subscribers.

    Not to mention AT&T, with God knows how many customers. Actually, God might know, or even, but it's too late at night for me to check the actual numbers.

    And those are not by far the only companies that decided to leave @home. So now Excite@home is left with less than half of its former users, maybe even less. But it has the same debt, and an even worse situation. Just the fact that they came close to shutting down and it killed their former image. If it would have been hard for it to survive before the bankrupcy, now that's pretty much impossible. So the bond holders that opposed the AT&T buyout are just as screwed, if not worse.

    • AT&T was probablly the only possible savior for @Home. It looks like @Home was probablly expecing AT&T to offer more money for them and called AT&T's bluff. However AT&T was not bluffing.

      AT&T and the smaller cable compaies that have left @Home represented about half of @Home's subscribers. @Home is gone. AT&T no longer wants it (they pulled their offer to buy).

      The @Home bondholders shot themselves in the foot by stopping the AT&T bid. NO WAY will they get the $300 million that AT&T was offering now. As soon as the other cable companies build their own networks, @Home becomes worthless. In fact, it is worthless right now. All that @Home has going for it is its assets (buildings and equipment) and those will go for pennies on the dollar.

      Does anyone want some cheap network equipment?
    • These guys paid $785M for I kid you not, and the bond holders financed this idiocy. Had they spend money on making a decent Internet "Dial-tone" they would have been in excellent shape. Instead they redesigned their website over and over making it worse and worse. They never understood that most users couldn't care about all their "value added stickyness" stuff. Look at google they are the most Sticky website I know precisely because they know what business they are in. No need to switch to DSL the ILECs are as corrupt as AT&T. Recently SBC lied on their filing to get LD service in Arkansas. They were fined $3.3M, they will make 100 times that on the permission they got. So why tell the truth.
      • These guys paid $785M for I kid you not,

        Are you serious?

        Oh my god.

        I could have made a shitty web site just like that for much less

        I guess instead I should be charging MORE for crappier products.


        • "Are you serious?

          Oh my god.

          I could have made a shitty web site just like that for much less "

          Don't you remember a company that paid 1bln for a website called ;-)

          The thing is that these outrageous sums were part of the game these times. Worthless companies were buying other worthless companies with their potentially worthless stock.

          I don't think they have wasted much cash on BlueMountain (I might be mistaken though).
  • AT&T is NOT "back up" unless you call going from relatively solid service with a static IP to spotty service with a DHCP server that can't figure out if I can own an IP or not since it is constantly being resurrected. F*** AT&T. F*** Excite.
  • finally. sharing a 28.8 modem with my roommate this weekend was very painful. incidentally, i'm very impressed/happy with openbsd's handling of ppp-on-demand + nat + ipf.

    in general things seem pretty much the same, except:
    - no more static ip :(
    - no more web proxy server
    - max downstream has a lower cap?

    with @home, i could grab things like the sun jdk at some ridiculous speeds. i remember on several occasions in the past year getting the whole ~30MB file in ~2 minutes. i was utterly amazed by those speeds--i didn't think it was possible to reach those speeds on a cable modem. not sure if it had to do with their web proxy server or not--i always imagined it must have.

    just tried downloading the 1.3 jdk with attbi, and the download caps at about 111 KB/s. @home always claimed a 1.5Mb/s cap, but there always seemed to be exceptions to that.

    anyone tried playing a multiplayer network game like quake3? i remember latency sucked with @home compared to my friend's dsl.
    • your complaining about a 111 KB cap? since the move to Charter Pipeline (Charter@Home seems to be totally dead), my download cap has been at 14KB, 128k up and down.

      I'd kill for that 111KB connection now.....
  • from @home to attbi (Score:4, Informative)

    by Praeluceo ( 528253 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2001 @03:02AM (#2652860) Homepage Journal
    I'm just your J.R. Random letting you know how my switch from AT&T @home to ATTbi went. At around 3:30 am on Sunday my @home connection died, I know this because that is when my last minute ftp of MDK 8.1 CD 1 died. I woke up, and every site my browser pointed to was an instruction site letting me know my new configuration info, so I changed my router's information, shut off the router and my cable modem for a few seconds, and then reapplied power. Presto, 30 seconds later I was back online. No problems with any of the computers behind my router.

    A few things I noticed right off the bat was that my previous @home connection gave my computer a dns entry that was static, and -could- be used to host a site, it followed the convention of But now my computer's "url" doesn't seem to make any sense, and rather than being associated with my current IP address, it links me to some control panel of sorts, however the last I checked it wasn't really complete offering a few tools, but no UI.

    Secondly, I read up on AT&T's website, noting that my parents' e-mail account would now be, which is not nearly as easy to remember, or to give out, and that all mail sent to @home would not be redirected, but rather rejected. Unfortunately, any mail sent to their old account returns the following:
    This Message was undeliverable due to the following reason:


    Isn't that helpful? I was hoping it would at least advise the sender to change the hostname of the e-mail address. Secondly, AT&T@home previously placed a 650 KB/s downstream, and 128 KB/s upstream cap on our connection. However now on attbi we have 1.5 Mb down (which after running a speedtest [] I found to hover around 1.1 and 1.2 Mb/s) and again 128 KB/s upstream. This is a nice change for us, although I am aware other users didn't have such a cap.

    Also, @home previously offered webspace with each account, which was 10 Mb. Now it seems they have modified their service to include 60 Mb of webspace, I never used this feature before, but have activated it now in anticipation of a backup site for my regular page. As of yet their "df" command in the web-based control panel still says I have 10240 Kb free, but I'm assuming that's either a limitation of the webpanel, or they haven't upgraded the servers yet.

    Additionally, their user management page is -completely- redesigned, making itself much more intuitive, and helpful, not to mention easy to use. I attempted to get an e-mail address with our @home service, but it had been taken by someone else previously, and then deleted, rendering it unusable because AT&T won't reactivate e-mail accounts after they have been deleted. However, with the switch, all the "dead" e-mail addresses are now available, and I was able to successfully activate my preferred address. On the same note, we were previously allowed 7 total fixed addresses, but now we are only allowed 5 simultaneous addresses, I say this is a good thing though, because before when you deleted an address, you didn't get credit back to create any more, but now you can "rename" a user account, so I renamed my old one, to the desired username without changing the number of e-mail's we're using. The @home service limited the password length on accounts to a maximum of 9 characters, and a minimum of 6, this was -very- limiting. The new attbi service allows the standard 8-16 character password, which is very handy.

    Overall I am pleased with our change in service, and although other people have experienced DNS, and login errors, I had zero issues with the change-over, and can only hope, in my case at least, it is a permanent change. My loss of a domain is hardly earth-shattering, and as far as I know, once attbi gets stabilized, their IP's will again become semi-static like it was before. I can't speak for others, I know some people in California who once used @home and are now on juno. My transition was smooth, and my service has gone from pretty good to even better. But as they say, YMMV.

    Score 1: Repetitive Information Fodder
  • Mixed feelings (Score:2, Informative)

    I have mixed feelings about all this. We got back up today, which is not bad considering.

    The minus is we lost our static IP address, which means we can't let it leak through the firewall to VPN into work anymore -- now we're back to physically bypassing the firewall to work from home.

    The plus -- and it's a big one -- is the new Subscriber's Agreement. Under @Home we were not allowed to run a "server" -- any server. They did not allow http or ftp or anything else. ATTBI say []:

    Customer acknowledges that when using the Service there are certain applications such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server or HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) server which may be used by other persons or entities to allow such other persons or entities to gain access to Customer's Equipment. Customer is solely responsible for the security of the Customer Equipment or any other equipment Customer chooses to use in connection with the Service, including without limitation any data stored on such equipment. Neither AT&T Broadband nor its affiliates shall have any liability whatsoever for any claims, losses, actions, damages, suits or proceedings resulting from, arising out of or otherwise relating to the use of such applications by Customer, or the access by others to the Customer Equipment or other equipment of Customer.
    In other words, if you run an FTP server and someone downloads your files, it's your problem not theirs. In other words, they don't care! They also say:
    Customer agrees not to use a dynamic DNS to associate a host name with such dynamic IP connection(s) for any commercial purpose.
    But that also means you can use dynamic DNS to associate a host hame to your dynamic IP for non-commercial purposes. Way cool -- I like that a lot!

    But I'm bummed at losing the static IP. And myname@Home sounded better than myname@ATTBI. I just hope that I'm not forced to switch to AOL or MSN [] next month.

    • That's basically what the TOS was up here in New England for the old Media One RoadRunner network that AT&T bought when they bought Media One and then did a system swap with Time Warner (AT&T got a lot of Boston area franchises about a year ago in exchange for giving some of their other territories to Time Warner).

      Unlike the @home portion of the AT&T network, New England users were not generally affected by last week's outage, and we were always allowed to run servers, though they are unsupported. We did have to deal with Port 80 blocking when Code Red was peaking this summer, though (dealt with in my case by using ZoneEdit's redirection to hit my Port 8080, and by running Apache in the first place).

      I'm a little jealous that folks had static addresses, though - a static IP makes things so much simpler.
    • about running a server, att seems to have some mixed signals on their website, the service agreement obviously being the definitive resource:

      FAQ: can I run a server? []

      AT&T Broadband does not allow servers to be connected to the cable modem. This means that no computer in a personal network can be used as a server.

      What the hell does this mean? I can't have a file/print server within my home network? Or are they tring to say the machine(s) connected directly to the modem can't be servers?
    • Under @Home we were not allowed to run a "server" -- any server. They did not allow http or ftp or anything

      The text you supplied is the EXACT same text that is in the @Home subscriber agreement. The only difference is I hear AT&T will block certain ports that @Home did not. The examples I have heard so far are 25, 80 and 21. This will really put a damper on my mail and web server, they are not commercial but they are important to me. I guess my site will remain down and all my email will bounce until I make other arrangements.

      But I'm bummed at losing the static IP.

      So am I.

      And myname@Home sounded better than myname@ATTBI. I just hope that I'm not forced to switch to AOL or MSN

      I think this would be unlikely since AT&T Worldnet is a direct competitor of those 2 companies. What I worry about is AT&T's network not being able to keep up with the strain of 850,000 additional users.

  • FWIW -- In our area (Richmond, VA), they've been spreading the word that there won't be any downtime. Since AT&T is starting with the northwest in creating their own network, I didn't want to believe them (even though their e-mail assured me their one goal is to provide us with great service -- yeah, right).

    There was a story on the evening news today that explained what was happening. For those AT&T customers who were Mediaone customers (a company that actually cared about customer satisfaction before AT&T bought them!), AT&T is using the old Mediaone net -- they never changed those regions over. In other words, if you were a Mediaone customer, you were never on the Excite net and yoru service should remain intact.

  • Um, not yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dgulbran ( 141477 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2001 @03:08AM (#2652873) Homepage
    As well, it appears that the folks who were using AT&T's brand of Excite@Home are back online - as this press release said.

    Um, well, first... that press release doesn't say that everyone is back on-line... in fact, it's a release from Saturday. Here, it's Tuesday. Can Hemos read??

    Second, since I am an ATT Broadband customer in Chicago, sitting here dialed in using a 56k modem, I can assure you that ATT customers are *not* all back on-line. Contrary to the attitude in SF, the bay area does not constitute the entire world...

    • As far as I can tell, all the Midwest customers are still out. I'm in Michiana, and my only connection is at work.
    • there's only one god, there should be 2 or 3.
    • apparently hemos can't/doesn't read. the press release announces AT&T customers being migrated to a new network run by AT&T, NOT turning @Home back on.

      AT&T Broadband has moved about 86,000 customers in Oregon and the Vancouver area of Washington from the Excite@Home network to the new AT&T Broadband Internet network

      The deal is between Comcast, Cox and @Home. Those subs didn't even lose service, did they?

      Here in Chicago, the modem light went on about 10:30 but no service yet (well, can't even get DHCP yet). We are still being told we will be moved to attbi, and in Chicago we can expect service today.
  • by pryan ( 169593 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2001 @03:24AM (#2652884) Homepage
    Since a lot of you are having DNS problems, it might be a good time to switch to OpenNIC [] DNS servers. I did a week ago and it is very cool. You'll be able to resolve legacy DNS zones, such as .com, .net, and .org, but you'll get the cool, open zones as well.

    There is a list of public servers [], but please use the tier 2 DNS servers [opennic.glue]. Find the lowest latency servers and follow the directions [] if you don't know how to set up DNS.

    Then, if you get into it, get a .geek domain [opennic.geek]! Don't worry if you can't go to the .geek NIC yet, you'll have to set up the open DNS servers for your machine or network.


    My AT&T@Home came back up two days ago (Seattle).
  • Cox Press Release (Score:2, Informative)

    by docstrange ( 161931 )
    Cox Press Release up tion.asp



    Pact Ensures Residential Cox@Home Customers and Business Customers Continue To Receive High-Speed Internet Access During Transition To New Cox-Managed Network

    ATLANTA - Cox Communications, Inc. (NYSE: COX) today announced that it has reached an agreement that will allow the company's 555,000 Cox@Home customers and more than 20,000 commercial business customers to maintain Internet access through their broadband connections until the company transitions to its own high-speed network. The agreement is pending approval by Bankruptcy Court Judge Thomas E. Carlson.

    Through the agreement involving Excite@Home, its creditors, and other cable companies, Excite@Home will continue to serve as Cox's supplier of high-speed Internet service while Cox rolls out its own managed network over the next few months. Under the terms of the agreement, Cox will pay $160 million to Excite@Home for three months of uninterrupted service for its Cox@Home subscribers. This amount will be in lieu of the monthly subscriber fees previously paid to Excite@Home.

    Excite@Home filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September and subsequently was faced with a court ruling that threatened to disrupt high-speed Internet service for approximately 4 million residential cable customers, including those served by Cox. Some customers of Cox's commercial division, Cox Business Services, would also have been impacted. On November 30, a bankruptcy court judge approved a petition filed by Excite@Home giving it the right to terminate its service agreements and cease providing service to its cable affiliates and their customers. However, following Friday's ruling, Cox was successful in negotiating a new temporary agreement with Excite@Home so that service will continue for a brief period of time until Cox's new network is fully deployed and its Internet customers have been transitioned to a new Cox-managed service.

    "We are pleased that all parties in this case reached an agreement based on the best interests of our customers," said Dallas Clement, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Development. "This agreement allows an orderly transition of Cox@Home customers to our own high-speed network without the fear of major service disruptions."

    The agreement doesn't change Cox Communications' plans to transition its customers to the company's own nationwide high-speed Internet network. That transition will begin in December and will be completed, on a market-by-market basis, by March 2002.

    "This agreement means we have been given time to transition our customers in an orderly fashion, without any prolonged service outages or e-mail disruptions," said Pat Esser, Executive Vice President of Operations. "Establishing our own network will give us more control over the quality and reliability of service, the ability to add new features, and allow us to be more responsive. Our new system will be based on the most advanced technology and will be supported by Cox technicians and service representatives who will monitor all aspects of the service and quickly resolve any technical issues. Ultimately, our own network will allow us to provide an improved customer experience, which will increase customer loyalty and attract new customers." Cox Communications currently offers high-speed Internet access through Excite@Home in 18 markets. In addition, Cox provides high-speed Internet access to an additional 230,000 customers under the brands RoadRunner and Cox Express. These customers also will transition to Cox High Speed Internetsm service later next year. Cox Business Services Internet customers will simultaneously transition to the Cox-managed data network.

    About Cox Communications:

    Cox Communications, a Fortune 500 company, serves approximately 6.2 million customers nationwide, making it the nation's fifth largest cable television company. A full-service provider of telecommunications products, Cox offers an array of services, including Cox Cable; local and long distance telephone services under the Cox Digital Telephone brand; high-speed Internet access under the brands Cox@Home, RoadRunner and Cox Express; advanced digital video programming services under the Cox Digital Cable brand; and commercial voice and data services via Cox Business Services. Cox is an investor in telecommunications companies including Sprint PCS and Excite@Home, as well as programming networks including Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel. More information about Cox Communications can be accessed on the Internet at

    About Cox Business Services

    Cox Business Services is the commercial broadband division of Atlanta-based Cox Communications, Inc. A full-service, facilities-based provider of telecommunications solutions, Cox Business Services serves home offices; small, medium and large-sized businesses; school districts; and hospitality, government and military properties in cities across the nation. Cox offers high-speed Internet services; switched voice services and long-distance; wholesale carrier access; and dedicated voice, data and video transport services. More information about Cox can be accessed on the Internet at
  • Of course, all of this could be worse. My comcast connection did not die at all. Of course I wasn't home on Friday, but when I was on Saturday, it was fine. But I did get a very strange thought. What if Microsoft got hold of @home? Would that not be scary to have @MSHome or @MSNHome? I think I would kill my cable connection right then and there. And of course, they probably wouldn't support linux (Comcast said they do and I have my Slack 8.0 box running on it through static IP).
  • Well, I guess the news hasn't reached the Romeoville, IL front-end. The CABLE light on the modem is still solid black.

    Broadband - it's dead as disco.

  • I was pleasantly surprised that my internet service (att@home) was not interupted at all here in portland oregon, but i seem to be having DNS problems... after about 10-20 minutes of browsing the web, suddenly all sites that i try to go to that i havent been to yet, cant be found. tihs happens on my mac and pc and its really irritating. the only thing to do is either wait a while or restart the computer.

    anyone else experiencing this, and have a fix?
  • The Hartford Courant [] said that AT&T was expecting service to be restored to this area on Thursday.


    • It was definitely offline as of last night, but today I notice I can trace to my default route ( from my office (which is connected via UUnet). Not sure yet if this means it's up; know for sure in a few hours.

      Now that @Home is gone, this is a good time to suggest the introduction of a little more honesty in the business. How about telling us which cities are capped and what the limits are. How about a list of the addresses, ports, and newsgroups that are being blocked, instead of having the customers reverse-engineer the knowledge for themselves? It's not like we don't know this is happening!!! They can either "face the music" from the customer community or just let them bad-mouth the service in private to people who are thinking about signing up. Pick one.

      I'd like to see them use and RBL-like service on e-mail, and it would be nice if they could get the packet loss under 5%, but for now I would be happy to just get basic connectivity back while I consider my options long-term.
  • Being a Comcast@Home customer, I have been watching this quite closely, since it seemed that Comcast didn't have a backup plan. The math here though doesn't work out. Comcast has 850,000 customer according to various news reports. At $32/month, that's $27.2M in gross income, or $81.6M over three months. They paid double their gross income to keep us as customers for three months? When do my rates go up?
  • It may be unpopular to praise your broadband provider but I'm going to seriously miss @home when I'm finally switched over to Comcast's own network.

    With all the talk of download caps as low as 768K on the ATT network, I realize how spoiled I've been. My download speeds are often 2.4Mbits or greater. On a speed test website, I tested 7x faster than my neighbors Verizon DSL service (basic level).

    Comcast@home was an excellent deal at $39.95 per month. I'll be sorry to see it go.
  • Had to deal with the up again down again service from AT&T for quite some time now, best way to cope with it (90% of the problems have been in the WAN/Modem/AT&T's screwed up networking) is to hit that little reset button in back of the modem... This forces the modem to reestablish the link to their WAN and get a fresh IP... In the meanwhile, their DNS appears to have been restored, so no more relying on their DHCP (my roomy can now access webpages/non-IP addresses over Sygate), well, for however long they can keep it up... It's looking like the last time it went down here was due to their installing their DNS routing hard/software or whatever IT guys do... Pity it took them this long to get it done, considering they had as early as second quarter reports to figure out that @home was going tits up... Ohwell...
  • From the support site:

    Please review the following AT&T Broadband Internet migration schedule to find out when your high-speed cable Internet service will be available on the AT&T network.

    Customers in San Francisco and Illinois are scheduled to move this Monday and Tuesday
    Customers in Denver, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah are scheduled for Wednesday
    Customers in Hartford, Connecticut; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Sacramento, California and the Majority of the Rocky Mountain region are scheduled to move on Thursday
    Customers in Michigan will be moved on Friday
    You will be contacted by AT&T Broadband with further instructions when the transition of your high-speed cable Internet service is complete.

    We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this interruption may cause and thank you for your patience as we work to provide you with the best high-speed cable Internet service possible.
  • Last night I was switched from @Home to Adelphia Powerlink. It's working just fine this morning, and a bit faster. I feel sorry for those stuck on @Home for 3 more months.
  • Has anyone heard news about Microsoft's position in all of this?

    I heard this morning on Fox News that M$ may be trying to buy into the network... but I can't find any more info on the web.
  • Here is the email that I received from Insight regarding their Insight@Home service (provided by Excite@Home):

    Early this evening, Insight, along with other cable operators (including Cox, Comcast, Mediacom, and Rogers) signed an interim agreement with Excite@Home and the official unsecured bondholders' committee. This settlement agreement provides for continued service for three months, during which time we can accomplish an orderly transition to another high-speed provider.

    The specific terms of the deal include a lump payment by the cable operators of $355 million, $10 million of which is Insight's portion. We agreed to pay this fee in order to extend the time required to ensure an orderly transition. This payment will not result in a price increase to you.

    We're also actively continuing our discussions with other high-speed broadband providers. The offering of new providers will be the first step in opening up our network to bring more choices to our customers in the selection of their Internet Service Providers, fulfilling our vision of our broadband platform.

    While today's settlement agreement is subject to court approval, we expect this approval shortly.

    We have worked hard to ensure continued, uninterrupted broadband service for you and we're pleased it appears that effort has been successful. We appreciate your ongoing support of Insight.


    Kim D. Kelly
    Chief Operating Officer
    Insight Communications
  • If you actually READ the press release, you'll see it says the exact same thing quoted in a /. story yesterday. That is, that they've moved /some/ customers, and the transition is expected to be completed in "2 to 10 days". In the meantime, I'd make a stronger statement than the press release, and say that everyone else WILL (not "may") experience a "service interruption".

    Ironically, as the dateline on the press release indicated, AT&T Broadband is based in Englewood, CO, but most of @Home's Colorado customers are still without service (I live in Denver).
  • The headline implies that AT&T struck a deal with excite, the linked articles do not say this and all other evidence continues to be that AT&T is moving its customers to a new network.

    Am I reading this wrong? We've just gotten back online here in Chicago, and it sure ain't @home service!
  • I tried calling the 888 number listed on to see when Indiana customers will be back online (I've seen no mention of my state in any press release or any help doc) and encountered the following: In addition to adding a 5 minute message to the phone system, they also seem to have turned off access to tech support. Each time I hit the final option to be connected with tech support, I would hear a tone then get cut off. So either they're overwhelmed with calls, or they techs got tired of irate customers calling them.

    In any event, I was able to get a different phone number that actually does connect with a tech (by calling sales who transferred me) -- that number is 866-447-7333. This might just be the number for my region, though. In any event, you can talk to an actual person if you have questions.

    Lastly, the guy I talked with told me it could be 14 days from day of disconnection, at the latest, before service is restored. Even though I'm pretty impressed with how quickly AT&T has been able to effect the transition to their own network, I'm still expecting I'll have to wait the full 14 days, given that they don't even bother to list my state in their releases.

    Oh well. As good a time as any to rebuild the server, I guess.

  • I got a call last night from Mediacom, apparently they were calling customers en masse to inform them that they'd reached an agreement and service would continue uninterrupted. And it did (at least until today when someone dug up the cable).

    But I also received an interesting piece of news. In my state (Iowa) AT&T had been collecting sales tax, and now they were informed that those taxes were not required. So they're giving everyone a credit sometime in 3 or 4 months from now. Or you can send a form to the State tax board and get a refund immediately (well, immediately in bureacratic terms, probably a month or two). My tax refund will be over $70. Now if I can just get my other ISP to stop charging sales tax!

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI