Comcast: @Home payoff worth the price


Comcast Corp.'s high-speed Internet customers were too valuable to risk
losing or even annoying by suddenly dropping Excite@Home Corp., Comcast Cable
Communications Inc. president Steve Burke contended.

Comcast agreed to fork over $160 million to keep Excite@Home's service from
going dark for 90 days. But the MSO was already paying $20 per month to feed the
high-speed Internet service to its 1 million Comcast@Home subscribers, so the
incremental cost is $100 million.

'These, by definition, are our best customers,' Burke said. 'We decided that
this was a very important thing for us, absolutely critical.'

The deal means that unlike AT&T Broadband customers, Comcast subscribers
will keep connectivity and have three months to notify friends and families of
their new electronic-mail addresses.