@Home rates to rise amid staff cuts

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AT&T plans to raise its monthly cable modem Internet-access fees by $6 per month effective June 1, CNet reports, as Exite@Home plans more job cuts.

AT&T is intending to inform current broadband Net customers via e-mail this month of the rate hike, CNet says, citing a source familiar with the plans. The expected rate hikes could affect more than 1 million of the nearly 1.3 million consumers who subscribe to the company's AT&T@Home and Road Runner services in various cities, the source said. But AT&T may change the amount and the timing of the increase, or back off entirely, depending on consumer reaction. Most AT&T cable modem customers currently pay $39.95 per month for the service.

Meanwhile, Excite@Home will cut 13% of its staff, or 380 workers, marking the second round of layoffs at the high-speed Internet service provider and media company, according to press reports.

A company spokeswoman said the cuts would be across the board, but the media business would be hit by the reduction a bit more than the rest of the Redwood City, California-based company's operations. Excite@Home will employ about 2,470 people after the cuts. In January, the company cut 8 percent of its staff, or 250 jobs.

Last week, Excite@Home posted a steep first-quarter loss and said prospects for second-quarter results were dim. The company indicated layoffs or a restructuring might be imminent.

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