Cringely's insight deepens
August 31, 2001 3:24 PM   Subscribe

Cringely's insight deepens with this new article on Excite@Home's troubles. Is broadband here to stay? If so, is it going to go anywhere? Three years from now, what will the options be and what kind of performance can be expected?
posted by bloggboy (5 comments total)
Well, for one thing they're not actually going to lose their access even if @Home bites the big one. Access isn't being provided by @Home; it's just a hosting service and not an essential part of the deal. This isn't like with DSL companies, who were actually operating the equipment which provided the local link. What @Home was providing can be provided without too much difficulty by each individual cable company just by installing a couple of Sun servers and hiring a couple of operators. There's much less to this story than meets the eye. (Road Runner's system is already decentralized this way; my host computers are located here in San Diego and belong to Time Warner Cable itself -- not that I'd ever notice, since I never use them.)

Cable is going to do fine, and the future of broadband into the home is secure as long as there is porn to download and online games to play.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 3:36 PM on August 31, 2001

You know, I might have been impressed with this article had Cringely wrote it a year ago, but right now, with ATHM's stock price hovering close to zero, the word that comes to mind is "DUH".

Cringely's always had a penchant for stating the obvious and making wild accusations with little to back it up other than something a little birdy told him. When is the world going to smarten up and realize the man is a self-absorbed twit?
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 4:20 PM on August 31, 2001

It'll be interesting to see the outcome. I expect that Excite@Home is dead meat, but there are other folks who know how to successfully sell service. RoadRunner, the Time-Warner house brand, works and is in use by ComCast on some the networks that they acquired (it's a mess in SE Michigan). Earthlink has been dying to get the chance to provide service to a captive audience and may well get the chance. I expect that some users may even notice that @Home died but most won't. At worst, they'll have to change the smtp server in their mail prefs.
posted by shagoth at 8:28 PM on August 31, 2001

A friend who uses @home noticed one night (about 3 AM)as he was dloading something, that his dload speed went from super-warp to slow as a 14.4 modem. When he called to inquire about @home's policy on throttling bandwidth, he was told by the CSR that no, @home does not throttle bandwidth. Not convinced, he asked his wife to call and pose as a potential costumer. She was informed that yes, @home does "limit" bandwidth when they feel necessary, and during peak time. Go figure.

My husband and I were considering subscribing to ATT @Home, but now after reading more, they can, as hubby says "go jump in the lake".

Why the hell would they block port 80? It's a web server port for crying out loud!
posted by soynuts at 8:22 PM on September 1, 2001

Is broadband here to stay? If so, is it going to go anywhere?

Look at how the telephone system progressed to encompass almost the entire world whilst things like telegrams became obsolete. I think an analogy could be drawn between that and broadband v's narrowband. Perhaps the two terms will always be applicable, but the definitions for each will be progressively fluid.

Maybe not - the spellchecker just tried to inform me that the term 'narrowband' was 'Marrowbone'. What a flash in the pan that was.
posted by Kino at 3:00 PM on September 2, 2001

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