Will the [email protected] situation effect me?

Question

Will (the financial situation at [email protected]) have any effects on the [email protected] Service? I am getting hooked up this week and this makes it look like @Home will not be around much longer?

- Richard

Answer

This question was answered on September 3, 2001. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

In the race for broadband (high-speed Internet services), the cable industry has been leading the way with the largest subscriber base One of the leaders of the cable modem industry is a company called [email protected]

[email protected] was created in 1999 as result of one of the biggest mergers during the ?dot com? era It brought Excite, which is a portal/search engine site (much like Yahoo), together with @Home, which provides the backbone for cable companies to offer high-speed Internet services to their customers.

This merger, at the time, was being touted as the most significant competitor to AOL because of its content and subscriber base combination At its peak, [email protected] shares were trading at $178.50 but they are now in danger of being de-listed from the NASDAQ because the stock has dropped below $1 per share.

To date, roughly 3.7 million cable modem users rely on the @Home backbone (including myself) mainly as customers of AT&T and Cox AT&T, which has the largest number of cable modem customers, actually has a 23% sake in [email protected] and a 74% vting share.

Since AT&T has so much at stake and the power to make decisions, it is unlikely that they will allow the [email protected]? part of the company to go away.

Analysts like Adam Guglielmo of TeleChoice have similar feelings Guglielmo says infighting over whether [email protected] should focus on broadband services or a portal strategy prevented the company from building a stronger business model Even so, he says he'd be surprised if the company disappears, and that the large base of subscribers to its cable modem service would appear to make it a likely candidate for major restructuring.

Cox Communications, which reportedly ended its exclusive relationship with the @Home folks back in June, is committed to providing uninterrupted service to its customers regardless of what happens to [email protected] This means that they can contract with another ?backbone? provider to continue service to their customers.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Cox was in discussions with AT&T to acquire its Cable-TV unit, which would include the broadband network These discussions could have a lot to do with what will eventually happen to the @Home portion of [email protected]

Anyone currently leasing a cable modem or in the process of installing the service should strongly consider purchasing a DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) cable modem The DOCSIS standard is the same across all cable modem systems, which means you can use it on any company's cable system that supports the standard.

If you plan to connect multiple systems to the cable modem, be sure it has an 'Ethernet' port on it so it can plug into a standard hub or broadband router which will make it easier to share.

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on September 3, 2001