AT&T Balked Over $40M Payment

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AT&T Broadband could have kept service to its high-speed data customers flowing smoothly for just $40 million, but instead decided to switch out the service.

The payment would have run about $40 per Internet customer connected, who
will at worst lose connectivity for days and at best lose their 'home.net'
e-mail addresses forever.

Executives involved in negotiations between Excite@Home and cable operators
relying on the company for Internet service said that Comcast and Cox had agreed
to pay $300 million to maintain service, allowing them to gradually move their
customers and, most importantly, notify friends and family of coming e-mail
address changes.

'AT&T just didn't want to pay,' said one executive.

After Comcast and Cox agreed with Excite@Home's bondholders to pay, 'AT&T
could have stayed in for a $40 million transition fee.'

The company had initially been asked for $100 million.

AT&T wouldn't discuss the negotiations, but was quickly restoring
customers' connectivity.

The company said 30% of its high-speed Internet customers had seen service
restored by Monday afternoon and 99% should have service by
Friday.

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