@Home pulling a Northpoint?
November 28, 2001 3:16 PM   Subscribe

@Home pulling a Northpoint? Looks like excite@home might go dark on friday. I've gotten three emails from AT&T on this and this week looks like it might be it. I feet a great disturbance in the net, Like millions of voices cried out in terror, then were silenced."
posted by skallas (36 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

posted by Real9 at 3:34 PM on November 28, 2001

Sooner or later, we will all belong to AO Hell. Troubling yet predictable development.
posted by MAYORBOB at 3:35 PM on November 28, 2001

Anyone know if that's the same as AT&T Broadband? I've heard they were related.....
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:35 PM on November 28, 2001

Sounds like a powerplay to me.
posted by fried at 3:43 PM on November 28, 2001

oh fuck. i didnt read those real thoroughly.
posted by Satapher at 3:46 PM on November 28, 2001

Technically at this moment Excite@Home is a separate entity providing services to AT&T Broadband customers in certain geographic areas. AT&T has been trying to buy them, and Excite management signed off, but some stockholders are bitterly opposed, even as their holdings have evaporated and the company slides into the poorhouse.

AT&T insists its customers will experience no interruption.
posted by dhartung at 4:01 PM on November 28, 2001

yeah. i'm a bit concerned that after friday i wont have an internet connection anymore. bummer. guess it's time to start shopping around again
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 4:17 PM on November 28, 2001

My provider in Toronto, Rogers, which was affiliated with @home, has been bombarding subscribers with messages to switch over to their new, non-@home servers for webspace, news, and email for the last couple of weeks. Email, paper mail, TV commercials, and even an automated message left on my answering machine yesterday. Having to change your email address on short notice is so not fun.
posted by mw at 4:44 PM on November 28, 2001

oh no, suddenly 4.1 million trolls, flamers and spammers will be forever removed from an otherwise semi-interesting internet. whatever shall i do?
posted by phalkin at 4:54 PM on November 28, 2001

This just underscores the need for vanity domains and remote web and mail hosting.
posted by shagoth at 4:57 PM on November 28, 2001

The only statement my cable Net access provider has issued in response to this situation dates October 1, and can be found here.

"Our customers are our top priority, and we are confident that together, Cox, Excite@Home and AT&T will ensure the high-quality uninterrupted high speed Internet service that our Cox@Home subscribers expect and enjoy.''

Oh yeah. I'm real confident, too.
posted by mattpfeff at 5:20 PM on November 28, 2001

As a Comcast@Home user, we've been directed that during the interruption, we should switch to "Comcast's Connection Backup Program."

Upon trying to download the program, I was redirected to Netzero.

After being sent through a referral link.
posted by precocious at 5:42 PM on November 28, 2001

We've been getting @Home service from Charter, which is probably going to switch me over to their "Charter Pipeline" service. According to the rep I taked to today, the switch will be "painless" -- we'll see. At minimum it means that I have to change me e-mail address on several dozen websites and subscription services.
posted by mrmanley at 6:11 PM on November 28, 2001

I'm in Toronto too, and have received everything mw mentions. As well, Rogers is using their cable access stations to show instructions as well.

All that, and they never transferred the two secondary email addresses that my boyfriend and I have been using for nearly two years. Two CSR's said that they did not have any records of those addresses although we've been receiving mail to them since we signed up for them.

So I get to sign up for the account again on December 7th, when secondary address manipulation is do-able again. Joy.
posted by melissa at 6:13 PM on November 28, 2001

I use RoadRunner; never had any problems with it. Any of you know how they (RRO) play in this market? In other words -- RR is NOT affiliated with Excite@Home, AT&T, or some other similarly f***ed ISP, are they? ARE THEY?!?!
posted by davidmsc at 6:53 PM on November 28, 2001

Road Runner is owned by AOL Time Warner. I wouldn't be too worried about it.
posted by riffola at 7:13 PM on November 28, 2001

So this evening I called a customer service representative and asked about the situation. The guy was all bluff -- real confident but for no good reason. Will I have Internet access after Friday? "You can't just shut these things off right away -- it takes days to do it," he said. Wow. I feel better now.

The other thing he said to make me feel better was, "This is our bread and butter, we're going to make sure we don't lose it." Silly me, I missed my chance to say, "Oh, so you're making a lot of money off me, are you?"
posted by mattpfeff at 8:04 PM on November 28, 2001

I just had my @home service "transferred" to my new place today. The poor guy got here, spent a half an hour on hold as he attempted to get my configuration. Finally, they answer, only to tell him today all installs will be "cold" as something "blew up" last night. He'd never seen anything like it before. He was so stressed, because he and everyone at his dispatch had no idea what AT&T were doing, what was to come of his other calls after me. Nobody had informed his people of anything.

Then, I flip on MeFi and find out this. Wow! Coincidences are neat!

I knew something was afoot this morning. I did sense a great disturbance in the force, as I couldn't quite figure out why a company would allow its contractors/representatives to be left in the dark like that.

Oh well. At least I didn't cancel my dial-up ISP. Guess I'll hang onto it for a while longer.

NEVER! NEVER! Get rid of your dial-up when combined with AT&T@home service. Sure the speed's great and the reliability is pretty good. But when it's down, or your node's down, have a bad splitter, you're gonna be down for awhile. Especially lately, the customer service has gotten simply worse every time I've had to call over the past two years. Switch your dial-up ISP plan to the 5.95 one. You'll thank yourself you still have it! Look at me.
posted by crasspastor at 9:00 PM on November 28, 2001

This would be why I'm getting DSL when I move out. I can cron a download on one of my linux boxes to do it from work. What I can't do is deal with @home's bullshit. (Instead, I'll be getting BS from Qworst.)
posted by SpecialK at 9:14 PM on November 28, 2001

I'm on shaw@home in vancouver, which used to be excite@home, which used to be rogers@home. We had to follow the email switching drill (which doesn't let you keep the same email address).
I don't know if it's related, but the service has been running slow all night. It's disconnected me a few times, once while I was 4 for 4 in tribes 2.

posted by starduck at 9:19 PM on November 28, 2001

I called my ISP this morning (@home through my local cable company) and the chipper customer service representative said that this probably wouldn't affect me and that my connection should be okay because they have "a back up plan."

I called again earlier tonight to get some more information on the back-up plan and the second customer service rep was a lot more frank with me, saying that they are supposed to read a letter prepared by management to anyone who calls, but the letter doesn't really say much of anything so she's not going to bother to read it. She explained that they don't know what to expect, and that they are going to be working extra-long shifts in case anything happens (presumably to try to keep us connected).

Not very comforting, but I appreciated hearing the unvarnished truth.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:33 PM on November 28, 2001

oh no, suddenly 4.1 million trolls, flamers and spammers will be forever removed from an otherwise semi-interesting internet. whatever shall i do?

damn right! i hope they get rid of all those MeFi users with IDs over 6000 too.
posted by chrisege at 12:39 AM on November 29, 2001

oh no, suddenly 4.1 million trolls, flamers and spammers will be forever removed from an otherwise semi-interesting internet. whatever shall i do?

damn right! i hope they get rid of all those MeFi users with IDs over 6000 too.

That hurts me, on the inside. Here in Lansing, MI we finally got broadband access inside the city just 3 months ago. The only provider is excite@home along with AT&T. Sure I might be able to get DSL access, but around here the connection is about as reliable as two cans and a piece of string.

posted by Localemperor at 7:45 AM on November 29, 2001

Cox@home has been the most reliable ISP I've ever had. And they seem confident that they will be able to provide uninterrupted service. Guess I'll find out tomorrow.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:29 AM on November 29, 2001

heh, figures. I've been having problems w/ comcast for about six months. There was a problem out at the pole, had a tech come to my house 3 times before someone who would listen to me showed up. just got it back on about 3 weeks ago too. DSL here I come
posted by tj at 8:41 AM on November 29, 2001

ljr, they (Cox) told me they plan on having their own system up in June (though hopefully earlier, of course). Until then, if there's no service through Excite@Home, I think we're S.O.L.....
posted by mattpfeff at 9:27 AM on November 29, 2001

just for thoroughness' sake, from the email Cox Communications sent its @Home customers last night, the Official VersionTM of what's going on:

Dear Cox @ Home Customer:


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.

It then goes on about what to do in case service is lost, which basically comes down to, you can use NetZero and we'll credit your account for stuff.
posted by mattpfeff at 6:15 PM on November 29, 2001

Copy and paste work, from the corporates themselves.

Dear Valued Customer,
We know that having reliable high-speed cable Internet service is important to you, and Mediacom always strives to provide you with the quality high-speed cable Internet service and customer care that you expect.

As you may have heard, our service provider, Excite@Home, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The creditors of Excite@Home have secured a hearing in bankruptcy court this Friday, November 30, which could result in service interruptions or shutdown of the Excite@Home service. Mediacom and other cable operators, including AT&T Broadband, Comcast and Cox Communications, are fighting to prevent this from happening and remain hopeful that no service interruptions or shutdown will occur.

To ensure minimal disruption to your service, we request that you check your email account(s) on a daily basis. Doing this will automatically save your email to your hard drive as well as ensure timely receipt of important future communications from Mediacom. Also, backup your personal web page(s) by copying them to a diskette, CD or to your computer hard drive.

Mediacom is working hard to avoid any disruption of your high-speed cable Internet service and to seek alternate service providers in the event that Excite@Home discontinues service. Please check your email, U.S. Mail and our company website (www.mediacomcc.com) for important information about any potential changes to your service.

Thank you for your patience as we strive to provide you with the best high-speed cable Internet service possible.


John G. Pascarelli
Senior Vice President
Marketing and Consumer Services

So basically, they reword it and send it to another affiliate. I love corporations! Hear me?
posted by trioperative at 10:38 PM on November 29, 2001

Excite@Home told to end service: Judge’s ruling could affect about four million Internet users." Including me! Oh, no.
posted by Carol Anne at 1:42 PM on November 30, 2001

Another confirmation of my belief that residential broadband will be, for the foreseeable future, a sham: too few want it at a price which is profitable.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:48 PM on November 30, 2001

I just got an automated call from Cox, about how they hadn't yet reached an agreement for interim service and how I should prepare in case they don't.... (They haven't shut anything off yet, though.)

(Also, Reuter's coverage of the ruling is decent.)
posted by mattpfeff at 9:51 AM on December 1, 2001

I'm ba-a-a-ack! Lost my att@home connection 12/01 about 6 a.m.; got an automated phone message that it would be three days until the new connection; moaned and groaned; noticed that the appropriate modem light was lit; ran the attbi configuation program; and returned to MetaLand! Only bad notes so far: I lost the IP address that a tech gave me to fix my connection problems; e-mail to my old address will not be forwarded.
posted by Carol Anne at 11:27 AM on December 2, 2001

No interruptions for this Cox@home customer.
posted by ljromanoff at 11:51 AM on December 2, 2001

I lost my AT&T@Home connection early Saturday morning as well, but it was turned back on by noon Sunday.

I ignored all the news about Excite@Home because I was convinced it wouldn't effect me. I was wrong.
posted by arielmeadow at 10:14 AM on December 3, 2001

Check out the DSLReports.com forums (especially the @Home and AT&T Broadband ones) for big meaty (or tofu-y, your choice) chunks of information.
Note that all AT&T Broadband customers are now, or will be when their service is restored, download-capped as well as upload-capped.
posted by darukaru at 10:42 AM on December 3, 2001

Excite reaches tentative deal with cable providers

ExciteAtHome and several cable companies signed a nonbinding letter Sunday that assured a service extension, at least temporarily. Talks on a definitive agreement continued Monday.
posted by mattpfeff at 4:13 PM on December 3, 2001

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