North American Network Operators Group

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Re: @Home ordered to shutdown at Midnight

  • From: Kevin Oberman
  • Date: Sun Dec 02 20:16:58 2001

> Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2001 15:49:55 -0500 (EST)
> From: Sean Donelan <[email protected]>
> Sender: [email protected]
> On Sun, 2 Dec 2001, Robert A. Hayden wrote:
> > AT&T couldn't move people off of @home because there was still a valid
> > contract in place, until Excite broke it and turned off service.
> I don't know if [email protected] had a different contract with AT&T, but
> Charter Communications moved 90% of its subscribers to a different
> upstream by Saturday.  Charter's spokeperson said they only had a few
> thousand subscribers left on @Home.  Charter's VP said they had teams
> working for the last two months in preparation for the cutover.
> Charter's actions seem to demonstrate that when management thinks its
> important to get the job done, it gets done.
> If Charter could do it, I would expect other providers could have done
> it, if their management wanted to do it.

Not really. Cox, Comcast, and TCI (now AT&T) signed up as initial
partners of @Home with equity stakes and exclusive contracts that
prohibited using any other Internet service until some time in
2002. (June, if I remember correctly.)

Many other, mostly smaller cable companies signed up with @Home, but
were only customers and they ha contracts that did not prohibit other
service. In other words, the contracts could be terminated with notice
from either side while the AT&T contract could be cancelled only by
mutual agreement. The bankruptcy judge can an did terminate this
agreement, so AT&T could start switching over at 12:01 am on
12/1. Customers in Washington and Oregon are already converted. The
latest guess for the SF Bay area (where AT&T is the dominate cable
provider by a huge margin) is supposed to be switched over by some
time on Tuesday, although there is so much work to be done here that I
find it hard to believe that they will be ready by then.

In the meantime the bond holders seem to have reduced the value of
@Home's assets to about a quarter of what they were last week. The
idea that they would come out head in this totally baffles me nd how
they convinced a judge to agree with them is a bit surprising, too.

Sending from a dial-up connection. :-(

R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: [email protected]			Phone: +1 510 486-8634