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Excite@Home May Have To Call It Quits

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the online-excitement-lies-elsewhere dept.

The Almighty Buck 329

Plazm writes: "C|net has a story (printer friendly version, of course) that just cropped up this morning about Excite@Home being in financial trouble. Will they befall the same fate as Covad and Loki? Good thing I just purchased my cable modem and broadband service through @Home last week so they could go out of business the next."

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fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198045)

BITCHES!

fp ---- yay! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198046)

this is a first post?

fp (-1, Offtopic)

kahuna720 (56586) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198047)

primo alberino

dah dah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198048)

well, crap on a stick and fill up on bacon

Given they're reputation... (3, Insightful)

r1ch (166865) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198056)

for (no) customer service, it's not really surprising. I have never heard anything positive said about excite@home

Re:Given they're reputation... (1)

r1ch (166865) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198075)

and yes, I know that it should be "they", not "they're" - it's been a long day, okay? ;-)

Re:Given they're reputation... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198092)

um.. actually, it should be their

Re:Given they're reputation... (1)

ILoveMandrake (468885) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198219)

I admit, they do have the crappiest customer service imaginable, and they are complete imbusils, however for $40 a month I get 2.0 - 2.8 Mbits/s which is amazingly fast for the price. I use linux which they don't support anyway, so I wouldn't get customer service regardless of its quality.

Just me .02

Who will be left in Broadband? (1)

StarTux (230379) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198057)

Who will be left if Covad and Home went?

Pacbell?

That sucks! Why is broadband failing, that is a question.

StarTux

Re:Who will be left in Broadband? (1)

LordCodeman (453611) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198114)

Because ingorant, uneducated fools use AOL when there are clearly better options available. Covad only has something like 330,000 customers, while AOL has 25 million.

Re:Who will be left in Broadband? (2)

demaria (122790) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198181)

AOL also costs half as much. Some dialups are 1/4 the cost of broadband.

Re:Who will be left in Broadband? (3, Informative)

PurpleFloyd (149812) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198262)

When you factor in the cost of a second phone line (about $20-25/mo where I live), plus the cost of a decent ISP (another 15-20 bucks), @home and dsl are very competitively priced. In fact, for our family, broadband was cheaper than a second phone line + 'net access. Unfortunately, many people don't know their options or are turned off by a $45/mo price upfront.

Re:Who will be left in Broadband? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198240)

Around in the Dallas area, the 3 big broadband systems are:
SouthWestern Bell DSL
Verizon DSL
ATT@Home

Re:Why is broadband failing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198330)

Because to sustain their business on $40/month subscriptions, they need millions of customers, but they don't have the staff or other resources to support those millions of customers. They spent too much money too fast building their network and signing up customers before they ever made a cent in profits.

If you're willing to pay $100/month, you can get decent broadband access. $40/month may cover the wiring and network infrastructure, but it sure as hell doesn't cover customer service. tech support, or dealing with all the spam that @home gets.

I have a DRY sense of humor (5, Funny)

docstrange (161931) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198058)

I can see it now. Hungry unemployed IT workers lined up at the @homeless shelter.

Blame it on Pets.com and their shareholders (5, Interesting)

BigBlockMopar (191202) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198220)


I can see it now. Hungry unemployed IT workers lined up at the @homeless shelter.

Ugh. The wolf is @ our door, boys and girls.

I blame it all on people who were stupid enough to buy shares of a company that promised to save consumers money by FedExing a $4.00, 30lb bag of kitty litter across the country. $21 shipping bill later, two day delivery time, versus going to the local bricks-and-mortar pet shop at the local mall, shelling out $6 and having a happy cat right away.

<sarcasm>There's a good business model. How can it fail?</sarcasm>

<more_sarcasm>Now that e-tailers have been brought back to reality and Napster is dead for all practical purposes, there's still no reason for broadband. No need for the convenience and power of having all the world's information at your fingertips. No reason why an AOL dialup account can't satisfy all your surfing needs.</more_sarcasm>

And now, as a result of idiocy of that scale across virtually the entire stock market, I find myself unemployed and unable to find a decent job. This really sucks.

Re:Blame it on Pets.com and their shareholders (1)

skuenzli (169327) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198320)

Actually, I know of at least one reason cheap, high-bandwidth services should be in demand: Gnutella. I started using LimeWire [limewire.com] this weekend. It's really sweet, very nice GUI. Judging from the blinky lights on my cable modem, there's a lot of other people who like it (Gnutella) too. I recommended my sister download and install it (she's at the U. of Arizona), need to check up and see how that went (she is not computer-inclined; she can barely get USB devices to work). College students will *not* be giving up their MP3s. Not if there's even a halfway decent solution out there.

I do not dispute that shipping kitty litter across country is a bad idea, though, just that there are no uses for all that bandwidth.

Regards,

Stephen

Re:Blame it on Pets.com and their shareholders (2, Funny)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198325)

<more_sarcasm>Now that e-tailers have been brought back to reality and Napster is dead for all practical purposes, there's still no reason for broadband. No need for the convenience and power of having all the world's information at your fingertips. No reason why an AOL dialup account can't satisfy all your surfing needs.</more_sarcasm>


Like d00d! U can't be serious! What about the pr0n ?!? We NEED broadband for the pr0n !!!! Oh PLEEZE don't take away my pr0n !!!


--

Garett

Why? (2, Interesting)

NineNine (235196) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198059)

Does anybody happen to know WHY these cable Internet companies are going under? They have more business than they can keep up with, which is usually a good thing, unless you're not pricing your product high enough to make a profit. Is that the problem? I'm really stumped, here.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198113)

I think the problem is, they don't know how to run a business. They're just the next wave of dotcoms, essentially. They don't realize that you shouldn't start throwing money at everything you possibly can. You gotta make your revenue exceed your expenses, otherwise you fail.

That's really such a simple concept, I don't know why no new businesses seem to understand that.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198218)

A: Economic slump.

They're ATT, they know how to run business (and spies and small countries ; ) the problem is no one has ever managed "new economy" sector businesses through a major economic slump. Personally, I wouldn't bet on @home going down.

Re:Why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198225)

Don't forget the Excite half of Excite@Home. Excite is (was) a content portal that relied on ad revenue (from it's portal, search engine, chat rooms, groups, Webshots, Blue Mountain Arts) to make money.

Maybe @Home might have survived if it didn't have Excite to drag it down.

(Former Excite@Home employee)

Re:Why? (1)

Kenyaman (458662) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198247)

Is. I use it daily. Though every once it a while I try to access some content and get told, "Sorry. That's only for @home users." You can drag my static IP and DSL line from my cold, dead fingers. Well, the static IP. I'd happly convert to an OC-3 if I could afford it. :)

They suck anyway... (1, Redundant)

DraKKon (7117) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198061)

Who cares.. Crappy service.. you die.

Re:They suck anyway... (2, Informative)

adpowers (153922) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198127)

I would take crappy cable modem service over crappy dial up service any day. I can't get DSL so I do care.

Hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198062)

Linux Sucks!!!

right time? (1)

Teflon Coating (177969) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198063)

This doesn't seem like the right time for them to go out of business. They are getting more and more customers every week so how could they be going out of business now? I would have expected them to go out of business after laying a bazillion miles of cable. It's not like there's very many competitors too.

I wouldn't mind... (1)

orionpi (318587) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198066)

ATT gave out friends billing info including credit card info, all traffic runs through San Jose, CA (at least for those of us in the Seattle area), and they only have 128kb upstream.

So much for.. (2, Funny)

DeePCedure (99267) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198067)

my hopes to hear the Buggles do an update and re-release called "Internet Killed the Video Star."

Going Out Of Business (2, Funny)

JohnPerkins (243021) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198071)

My sister worked at a Wherehouse at a local mall which went of business. She got a job at this pizza place which then went out of business. Then over to Kmart whose stock turned to junk bond status. Guess I should ask where she's working these days...

Re:Going Out Of Business (2, Funny)

issachar (170323) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198101)

that would be a warehouse. or did you mean a werhouse. a person who transforms into a house during the full moon?

Re:Going Out Of Business (1)

Scrooge919 (188405) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198163)

Actually, "Wherehouse" is correct. As in "Wherehouse Records". I always thought it was a stupid name...

Re:Going Out Of Business (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198198)

Somehow, I originally read that as "Whorehouse" and was thinking that if that's what my sister did, I wouldn't be telling people :)

Re:Going Out Of Business (2)

david duncan scott (206421) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198242)

Yeah, but a whorehouse in a mall? It would be all plastic and fake, I bet. The girls wouldn't really care about you at all.

Re:Going Out Of Business (1)

cheese_boy (118027) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198178)

that would be a warehouse.

Wherehouse == music store chain.

http://www.wherehouse.com for their (almost) defunct website

Re:Going Out Of Business (1)

fobbman (131816) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198293)

Wherehouse Music [wherehousemusic.com] is a large music and video store chain.

Redmond?... (1)

houston_pt (514463) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198164)

Well... Someone get her a job with those "beloved" guys over there in Redmond... ;-)

so much for competition in Canada (3, Interesting)

issachar (170323) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198074)

So if excite@home goes under, does that mean large chunks of Canada will only have one broadband ISP? (Telus in BC & Alberta as both Shaw & Rogers networks are part of excite@home).

If so, will Telus (or whoever it is in your province) leave broadband at $40CDN a month? Are the rumors that they're required by the government to keep it that low really true?

And even more importantly. Do we get to keep our cable modems? ;)

Re:so much for competition in Canada (3, Informative)

topham (32406) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198087)

No, @home in Canada is used for it's content and some of the backbone services, but, Shaw, rogers, etc own their own networks. @home doesn't own them. Think of it as a partnership for content and some, but not many services. (Shaw has actually been getting away from using @home services directly anyway).

Re:so much for competition in Canada (1)

issachar (170323) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198125)

really? I certainly hope they don't pay much for those so called "services". Of all the people I know who use Shaw, I'm the only one who uses even part of their services, and that's just their TV guide which, despite it's insistence on setting a cookie that stores my name & location. (Vancouver), still serves up the TV schedule with Ontario's time zone.

Re:so much for competition in Canada (2)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198112)

Shaw is a seperate entity from Excite. They just share name brand recognition, most of the same AUP (I noticed the Shaw AUP is worded much more openly in terms of servers, in parts... reads basically like 'don't bugger the system and we'll look the other way' :D ), and from what I understand, Shaw is making decent money off their internet services.

Government regulations... (2)

kypper (446750) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198123)

The CRTC was mainly focused on Telus etc providing other ISPs with DSL provisionability at reasonable rates (ie $50/month).


It does not directly focus on costs towards the customer. It just means that it should offer wholesale service for xDSL to ISPs at a price that would allow them to be competitive. (Kind of silly, really... and Bell etc got around it anyway with the concept that the price & profit could be achieved with only 5,000+ customers)


If they wanted to jack up the price, I'm pretty sure they could. They'd just have to allow other ISPs to offer at the same amount.

Re:so much for competition in Canada (1)

pci (13339) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198171)

Actually Shaw does a lot of there own network, and has the ability to do it's own email/web space. @home is just a more common brand name so they choose to use it.
Rogers on the other hand is completely dependant on @home for most of its cable infrastructure. But as with most big companies if it had to, I'm sure it could break free from @home.

Kind of like the way TELUS stopped using the Sympatico brand on its dial-up connections.

and all the user will see in the transition is a new email address. (i.e. @rogers.net or @shaw.net from @home.com)

essential service (1)

westcourt_monk (516239) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198210)

I do believe our government (Canada that is) is all over the broadband/ISP's. They can't charge more than $50 a month for home use. Mr Chretian declared high speed internet as an essential service. So that means they are bound by government regulations.

Remember when Rogers@home suddenly had better service? The goverment moniters their service now.

Re:so much for competition in Canada (1)

Cynikal (513328) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198221)

AFAIK, theres isnt any laws here in Canada regulating the prices, as i've heard of broadband costing upwards of $70CA/mo in BC, although i can't confirm that..
I've lived in Quebec and Nova Scotia, and their prices are near the same. But both places had at least 2 HSI servers, with the option of either ADSL with the local sympatico affiliate, or cable with the local cable provider. Couple that with the pomises of satalite access soon, i don't see a monopoly in broadband happening in Canada..

speaking of which, again AFAIK, The gov't DOES regulate monopolys, so if such a case were to happen, the ISP in question would be forced to split into 2 or more competing companys.

and on the final note of price, i've never had to pay more than $40 in any given area for HSI, and if any ISP tried to jack the price, they would only be opening their doors to competition as anyone with the funding could move in and set up an ISP with better prices. And with fair competition laws, the existing ISPs are obligated to rent their lines to competitors.

Re:so much for competition in Canada (1)

issachar (170323) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198275)

Apparently even citytel.net up in Prince Rupert which has absolutely ZERO competition prices their residential HSI at $44.95 per month. see here: http://www.citytel.net/internet/rates/indexi.html

Does excite@Home = AT&T@Home? (2, Interesting)

SnotRag (67465) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198077)

The article mentions AT&T being their biggest investor, but I was wondering if this affects AT&T@Home customers as well (namely me)...

Re:Does excite@Home = AT&T@Home? (1)

billybob (18401) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198168)

I was wondering the same thing. If ATT goes through excite's network.. does that mean we're all screwed?

Re:Does excite@Home = AT&T@Home? (1)

Yo_mama (72429) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198324)

I hope not, but I'm optimistic. My bills are from AT&T. AFAIK all the circuits are AT&T. The only thing "excite" I ever saw was the start page they tried to get me to set up.

Additionally, the article said that if excite@home folds, they might sell off the different markets, I can see AT&T keeping their portion since they already have the customers, equipment, etc in place.

I'd sure hate to have to go back to gaming on a 56k!!!

Sure puts an interesting perspective (2)

kypper (446750) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198083)

...on the death of dialup and whatnot.


Broadband too cannot be supported, especially with the baby-bell competition hitting the area. I'd honestly prefer to pay $70+ if it would keep the competition and quality available.


I'm just glad I'm on DSL instead of @home... (switched 8 months ago)

I am paying more than $70... (2)

Perianwyr Stormcrow (157913) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198099)

It sure hasn't kept competition alive. All that's happening is the services that are worse than what I have and don't offer what I need are the ones that are surviving.

Thank you phone companies. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. There is a special place reserved in my personal hell for you.

Everybody is on thin ice (2)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198109)

I'm just glad I'm on DSL instead of @home... (switched 8 months ago)


COVAD filed for bankrupcy protection about a week ago. I think they are the last CLECK. Who ownes your DSL wire?

Re:Everybody is on thin ice (2)

kypper (446750) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198332)

Velocet... tho I don't know who owns them.

Oh Well, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198084)

Did you know Linux was made for faggots?

Layoffs (1, Informative)

ioman1 (474363) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198085)

I read over at DT [designtechnica.com] about Excite laying off 200 employees.

Re:Layoffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198209)

There were also lay offs in February and May and more recently still. I was laid off in May (a blessing). The most recent lay offs were Friday.

They started out giving 8 weeks salary as severeance (well 4 wks severeance and 4 wks of a 'keep your mouth shut' bribe). I got 6 weeks. Now I hear people are being given 24 hours notice and told to go.

sucks to be an Excite@Home customer (2, Insightful)

Rackemup (160230) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198094)

I know they're not out of business yet, but with the threat of being delisted from NASDAQ in the very near future things dont look good... times like this I'm glad to be Canadian, and living in an area that only gives you 2 choices, Cable or DSL. Having less choice isn't really a good thing, but it's better to have 2 large, stable companies to choose from then 6 or 7 smaller ones with uncertain futures.

I'm sure someone else *cough*AOL*cough* wouldn't mind expanding their own network by taking over Excite@Home...

Nice, except... (1)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198322)

...we have the same situation here.

Cable companies have monopolies in their particular service areas. So what's going on is that there aren't 6 or 7 companies. There's one company, and it's going under.

It's not a "nice to be in Canada" thing if you're in Canada, and your cable company chose/was bought out by @Home. And it's not nice to be in America where your only cable service provider chose/was bought out by @Home.

A lot of people are going to lose their cablemodems in both countries because of this, with no alternative except DSL.

Glad to see Henry Blodget is still reporting (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198106)

...NOT. this guy should have been fired for talking up all of these companies.

Heh, almost funny... (1)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198119)

How their stock went down almost as quickly as the upload speed on cable modems.

I think/hope Charter is next. To go from 200K/s to 128K/s was ok...but to say a year later oh we ment 128k/s (14K/s)...bastards.

Does anyone else, besides me, see this as completely DEFEATING the purpose of broadband?

Moose.

In order to make the most people suffer you must organize one or more of the following:
Crime, religeon and politics.

Re:Heh, almost funny... (2)

Lxy (80823) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198272)

I think/hope Charter is next.

Of all the broadband compaines out there, Charter is still the best. From my experience they all suck. Charter has problems, but my connection is constantly >128K/sec. Incoming port 80 never got blocked, and with the exception of their cable techs, their service seems good. I hope Charter is the last to go. Actually, I hope they don't go so I don't have to resort to dialup. Those $%#$^&$@'n bastards from the "other" cable company ran fiber to my house and I can't get DSL without spending a pile of $$ for a copper pair.

Probably won't get killed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198135)

The cable companies still want to offer cable modem service. Far more likely outcome is for E@H to get blown up, and then the cable carriers will take on the services directly. E@H was always a middleman, and a particularly arrogant one at that.

Re:Probably won't get killed. (1)

rjmx (233228) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198263)

I must admit that I never did understand exactly what the h*** it was that Excite@home, RoadRunner and the like actually *did*. Me, I have a cable modem service with AT&T Broadband. I get Internet access. Excite @Home does not seem to be involved in any way. Neither did RoadRunner when we had *that*.

So exactly what do they do? If it's support, then (based on my experiences) we're probably better off without them (writing random words on small pieces of paper would at least give you a correct answer *some* of the time). If it's the whizz-bang "home page", then this might be a good time to introduce the average user to the joys of about:blank.

.....Ron

Re:Probably won't get killed. (3, Informative)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198331)

It's the backbone, caching, homepages, excite, email, and tech support. Totally commodity stuff that cablecos can easily do themselves now. Back in the day, cablecos were so non-savvy that they gladly signed exclusive agreements with @home so they wouldn't have to do this, but the world has changed in the last several years. I predict that even if @Home dies, service will continue as normal.

Overstretched (1)

blamario (227479) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198142)

I don't understand this financial NASDAQ mumbo-jumbo. Another
article has more information on their business baseline. In short, they're doing great in their core cable business, but they have been investing and losing heavily in media. Management failure, plain and simple.

Re:Overstretched (1)

blamario (227479) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198176)

Sorry, here [cnet.com] is the link.

Alright, this is getting out of hand! (2)

Ulwarth (458420) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198155)

Really, now. There's a huge demand for broadband, but no one can seem to stay in business even with hundreds of customers (both consumers and businesses) forking over lots of money each month for the service.

In an era of dot-coms with no revenue stream whatsoever staying in business for years, how is it that these companies are going broke?

Loki isn't gone yet! (3, Informative)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198156)

Will they befall the same fate as Covad and Loki?

Loki has just filed chapter 11 (protection from creditors) not chapter 7 (liquidation). Please don't call Loki gone until they do. They still have a very good chance to pull through.

Other major organizations have filed chapter 11, and still are major companies to this day. Sorry this is a touch off topic, but Loki ain't dead yet.

Re:Loki isn't gone yet! (1)

Mome (202311) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198279)

Your optimism is...nice, I guess. But Loki serves a small niche within a small niche. I just can't see it.

WooHoo my SPAM will plummet!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198161)

It seems all my spam is generated from users of the @home network. This also will cut down on the number of worms going through the Internet. I can't wait for AOL to go tits up so the Internet will finally be safe.

"Merging" with Excite was pure folly (2, Informative)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198167)

@Home killed themselves when they merged with Excite: @Home, which had a solid prospect of a large scale profitable business, decided that they just HAD to dilute their value by merging with a absurdly overvalued search engine that was headed into the great abyss (Excite has been on a major decline while engines like Google conquer the market). While they've tried to make some value out of the Excite merger, as an @Home customer I have never used the Excite pages except to transition to the member services pages. Even the so called "Broadband" version is simplistic and borish.


As another poster mentioned though, @Home really is marketing and some peering agreements: I'm on Cogeco and they will continue if @Home fails, and likewise Rogers and Shaw will be just as strong.


It's ironic that this is occuring right now as I just finished reading the National Post over lunch, and one of the stories detailed the fact that cable modems are being installed twice as fast as DSL. You would think that these would be the good times for @Home.

Canadian take over? (1)

westcourt_monk (516239) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198245)

Could Roger's afford to move into the US? What an oppertunity.

I bet some one in Rogers is thinking. Ok, some one is Rogers cable thinking is a long shot... but I am still curious.

Re:Canadian take over? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198295)

Last I heard Rogers was awash in debt (which I believe is one of the reasons they're so big: They're willing to go heavily in debt to get and stay big)


A potential bidder I could envision is Microsoft though...Microsoft has been trying to eak into the high speed cable business for some time, so if they could take over the top level servicing...

Re:"Merging" with Excite was pure folly (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198302)

This was a naked bailout of Excite and its investors (Kleiner Perkins) by the stronger @Home. Never should have happened. KPCB made out like bandits while everyone else got toasted.

Re:"Merging" with Excite was pure folly (1)

Cynikal (513328) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198316)

cable modems are being installed twice as fast as DSL. You would think that these would be the good times for @Home.

Well that could infact BE the problem.
my old isp was giving me 400K/sec on a good day when i first signed up, but by adding more and more users, that quickly dwindled to 50K/sec if i was really lucky at 2am. Suffice to say i will never go back to cable unless they guarentee me in writing a specific speed. Sure ADSL isnt capable of going as fast as cable, but in my experience, 180K/sec all the time is better than 400K/sec sometimes.

So probly they're encountering the "expanding too fast" problem, investing too much to support their bloated market, and going under with debt.

in simplistic terms, play monopoly and try to buy all the lots right away and see how long you last.. or take your time and let your competitors buy the lots and see how long you last..

My thoughts on the issue. (2, Interesting)

Wolfie87 (213450) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198179)

I have been a customer of excite for over a year now and have been pleased with what they have to offer.

Of course, here in Oklahoma the bandwidth is plentiful, except right at 5:00pm and for about 30 to 60 minutes thereafter.

I have even been impressed with their technical support. All you have to do is tell level one support things you know they can't comprehend and they bump you right along. Level 2 is pretty proficient in most regards. On to the point of this post....

In my opinion these ISPs are dropping out due to the burden of competing with simpler solutions, ie AOL and the like. Notice I did not say better solutions, just simpler to the average joe schmoe, I don't know a god damn thing about computers. These burdens I speak of is infrastructure. The cost of deploying the connectivity and not being able to convert the AOL magots.

They then tend to get into the pitfall that we need to conquer more areas and that gets them into dept and without a controlled growth rate that they can easily fund themselves they become so overwhelmed in debt that they topple under the load.

Well, my two cents, do with as you will

And yet here. (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198192)

As so many other Canadians have chimed in, broadband is thriving north of the border. I love Rogers@Home, except for the few months a while back when they were totally fuggered up....

My cable's been solid as granite for the last several months, and I've had nothing but love for it.

If you ask me (1)

LordCodeman (453611) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198195)

It seems like DSL and cable are killing each other. Because they are competitors, they price their products lower than they want to, thus bringing in less revenue. It's inevitable that they will eventually go out of business, while dialup still reigns.

Broadband almost seems like a nonprofitable venture-ship; $40 for a 1mbps+ cable line doesn't seem to justify the cost that these cable companies have to pay for their bandwidth. Then you have something like DSL, which only the baby Bells can survive because they are backed up by revenue from their regular telephone services.

Is broadband doomed?

Re:If you ask me (1)

jedwards (135260) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198267)

Yes, competition is dreadful for business. There should be a single, government regulated broadband provider charging exhorbitant fees for poor bandwidth and no choice.
IHBT.

STOP EXPANDING (2)

miahrogers (34176) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198200)

Sheesh, if they can't make money charging their current prices, stop expanding. Wait for a while. Hold it out. Wait till the money starts coming in, but please, I'm paying them something like 35 bucks/month, so are many of my neighbors. If they just sit on their ass for a while and stop expanding like the plauge, they won't keep digging themselves into debt.

Re:STOP EXPANDING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198281)

Exactly, "if you don't grow, you die" was a motto of the dotcom rise and fall. There are too many problems with these companies and there is no way they all can survive. My company, I won't say which one, hired a guy for $380,000 dollars a year to make the company profitable. All he did was lay off people, not surprisingly, only enough people to make his salary possible. We need more mom&pop type companies where it is more important for the company to thrive then it is for the CEO, CFO, UFO, BVD, to make $300+k per year. I've had a saying for a few years now, all before the dot-bomb came, that say is: "You get a job as CEO, hire friends and pay them a butt-load of money. Then the company goes under, a friend gets a CEO job at another company and then hires you and then you run the company into the ground..and so on and so on." Employees don't matter anymore, just lay them off when you need a new BMW.

When you crap on customers...you get flushed (1)

pazyclout (466832) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198202)

@home has one of the worst services out there and deserved to go out of business. Its about time that companies like them went under. SuckaS!

I finally get broadband... (1)

deaddeng (63515) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198213)

and this shit happens. I have a cable modem since 72 hours ago, and so far it rocks--I dl'd the 2.4.9 Linux kernel (26MB) in 2 minutes. The service is through Comcast but it uses @home's network, gateway, DNS, and mail servers. I hope this is fixed; once you've had broadband, you can't go back.

OMG... Help.. I *LIKE* it!!! (2, Funny)

phallen (145919) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198214)

I know that I'm about to commit some kind of /. heresy by saying this, but I LOVE MY @ HOME SERVICE! I've had it in two apartments, got super-fast installation (in the case of the 2nd apt, they showed up on the day I moved in... I had @home server before I had phone service). I also have a static IP, for which I do not pay extra, but I hear that they are moving away from that.

But, I will say that I only use it for the fat-pipe aspect. I don't use their email and don't use their web-hosting service (host my own, baby... and they haven't filtered web server traffic/port 80 as some people say they have.)

Please, oh please, don't make Pac Bell the only fat-pipe provider in CA/SF Bay Area. If it takes months to get installed and people calling for customer service are on hold for hours, how bad will it be if Covad and @home crap out?

"Hello, Pac Bell DSL? Yes, I'll hold... yes, I am bent over... yes, the broom stick handle does have splinters...yes, I will call you 'Daddy'..."

Broadband - Take 5! (1)

swordboy (472941) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198216)

So now I will have some really angry customers who I do some VPN side work for. Currently, a few of them have been through:

  • Flash.com
    Telocity
    BigNutz (BigNet
    and now to AT&T @Home

This is probably all a sham so that AOL can waltz in and take over the infrastructure.

Possible reason (5, Informative)

Arethan (223197) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198237)

I used to work for an @Home MSO. (I forget the meaning of the acronym, basically they resell @Home internet connectivity over their own cable lines.) Well anyways, after the initial year of the 5 year service contract with @Home, a lot of them employees stopped liking them so much. In fact, a lot of the IT guys that were really happy with @Home's network layout, were getting kind of upset with their technical contacts within @Home. Stuff like poor response time, terrible email/news server uptimes. Generally, customers would bitch and bitch about miscellaneous problems with their service, and @Home would take weeks to fix them. Even minor issues would take days. (How hard is it to kill an email account and create a new one with the same name?!)

So what is the solution? Simple. You have a customer base, you have people pratically breaking your doors down to get your service, but you can't stand the ISP you're going through. Let's see...cable company with lots of money...needs high speed internet backbones...money...backbones...hey, doesn't MCI, the Bells, Sprint, Qwest, and about 100 other telco/data service companies sell internet connections??? Hey, lets get our own OC-192!

And thus, @Home doesn't get the contract renewal when the current one runs out. Not only that, but these contracts are specified in terms of geographical area, not just in terms of the companies that signed it. So, if the cable company expands (which they always are), nothing says that the new customers have to be @Home customers. The cable company can use their revunues from existing @home customers to build an independant infrastructure, and use that to independantly serve all new customers outside of the original area.

Result? @Home doesn't make enough money to cover their startup costs. And they file chapter 7 within years of initial creation.

You're kidding, right? (1)

jamus (1439) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198238)

I spent over a year trying to get @home cable service, since that was all that was available where I lived. Now, that I have had a whole month and a half of decent service, they might be going under?

They better not file for backruptcy, because I expect a refund for the time it's been down!

Good riddance. (2)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198246)

It seems to me that @Home suffers from the same disease that a lot of other broadband providers do -- they don't really care if you're their customer or not.

This can be seen in their terrible customer service (and I don't just mean tech support) -- I've never seen a company where the sales team was less inclined to help you subscribe. It's as if I signed up for a magazine only to be told I had to staple the thing together myself.

I realize that individual customers don't mean a lot when you have a few hundred thousand, but they must treat everyone this way. That's *got* to hurt the bottom line.

test (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198248)

test AOL.com [slashdot.org] [aol.com]

Re:test (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198288)

test too! can i break the

yahoo.com [goatse.cx]

Jeez Timothy! (2, Informative)

dzawitz (2120) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198251)

Can I use my moderator points to mod down this article as ignorant? Is Tim ever going to learn the difference between Chapter 11 bankruptcy and liquidation? "Calling it quits" and filing for Chapter 11 are not the same thing, man.

Good riddance... (0, Offtopic)

mkelwood (516738) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198252)

I had @home service installed in mid-June. It worked great for 18 days then went down for 6 weeks. Twice I waited 10 days for a tech to show up and tell me it would be fixed in 48 hours. I fought with their clueless support personnel on numerous occasions. Finally I gave and told them to come pick up their useless equipment. I won't even go into the fight over installation charges for a service that only worked 2 weeks!!! If these bozos treat all their customers with the same complete lack of respect, I don't doubt that they will never make money. Goodbye, @home! I won't shed a tear. MKE

Call me vengeful... (1)

WndrBr3d (219963) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198254)

But they derserve it after blocking my port 80 !!

TIME TO KICK 'EM DOWN A NOTCH !

-BAM!

Herman Miller Chair Count (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198265)

All you had to do was look at the Aereon Chair population to see this one coming. Ought to be a fun auction.

Raise Prices, Please (1)

Local Loop (55555) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198266)

Excite@home: PLEASE raise your prices if you are not making a profit. My cable modem is essential to my business. I'd happily pay 50% more for the service than I am now.

-Loopy

Subscribers should be okay (2)

room101 (236520) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198274)

[[ full disclosure: I work for an @home company ]]

I don't think that the subscribers are going to get hurt here. @home is controlled by AT&T Broadband, which itself is "on the market", being wooed by many companies. Many of these companies are particularly interested in @home's 3.6 million subscribers.

Even if @home tanks, (which, I have no reason to think it will not) AT&T, and whomever buys it (which is pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point, just a matter of who, for what price) has great reason to keep the current subscribers very happy in the near and long-term future.

[[ further disclosure: This shouldn't in any way constitute as "insider information". All of this is my speculation, gathered from multiple internet sources, all of which being available to the general public. @home does not keep its employees informed. ]]

covad feels comfy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2198277)

this makes me feel very comfy on a covad backed dsl line.

@Home won't die (1)

Baloo Ursidae (29355) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198301)

@Home won't die. More likely, AT&T will suck it up. They're already a majority interest and own most of the infrastructure.

Is it possible... (2, Interesting)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198303)

...that @Home's rich crop of spammers just might be to blame for their current troubles?

Think about it: Lots of admins (myself included -- I have LARGE amounts of @Home's IP space in our mailserver's local 'Deny' files) start blocking mail traffic, legitimate or not, from @Home's IP space due to spammer infestations. Personally, with only ONE exception, every single piece of mail I've seen from @Home in the past two years has been spam.

Anyway, @Home users get ticked off because, all of a sudden, they can't mail baby pictures to Aunt Gracie on Orville's Internet Service in Flyspeck, OH. Why? Because Orville's is blocking traffic from @Home. Orville's other users AND admins were complaining about the spam load from @Home, and Orville himself decided to do something about it.

Ticked-off @Home customers bail when @Home can't/won't do anything about their network's spammers. @Home loses revenue. @Home's share price drops. @Home sinks like the Titanic.

At the risk of sounding mean and nasty, I'm not going to cry very much for @Home. Their demise means only one thing to me: Less disk space taken up on my servers due to reduced size of my 'Deny' file.

Keep the peace(es).

If you like it, tell them you'll pay more (1)

irishkev (457679) | more than 13 years ago | (#2198311)

I get great service from them, and I'd hate to loose it. I get 2Mb/sec down and about 200 up. And for those of you who think telco DSL will be better, man, think again. It sucks. Been there, done that.

I dropped them a line indicating I'd pay more per month. Maybe if enough of us do the same, they'll consider it instead of being religated to the Fucked Company hall of fame.

Here's the link:

http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml? ti cker=ATHM&script=2300

Later.
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