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Uploaded:Monday, Dec.3, 2001, 1:50 p.m.

At Home customers have no home

AT&T customers who had Internet service with Excite@Home disconnected for now

AT&T reports that its broadband Internet customers in the Bay Area including Palo Alto could be without service for up to 10 days while it works to switch them to a different network after failing to reach and agreement with Redwood City-based ExciteAtHome.

According to a statement issued Saturday, about 86,000 AT&T customers, mostly in Oregon and Washington, had already been switched over to a new network by that morning. The rest of the company's 860,000 customers, including those in the Bay Area, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Dallas, were still waiting for service to resume. Some reports indicated that Bay Area customers might have Internet service restored by as soon as Tuesday.

ExciteAtHome switched off its service after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Carlson ruled Friday that parent company At Home Corp. could end its agreements to provide high-speed Internet access because the contracts had become financially burdensome to the company. The cancellation resulted in an interruption for 3.7 million ExciteAtHome subscribers, including the AT&T customers, in the United States and Canada.

AT&T said it would automatically credit the accounts of all customers who have been affected by the interruption by giving them two free days for every one day of interrupted service. Some customers will receive free dial-up modem service until they are reconnected with the high-speed network, the company said.

Broadband cable television and telephone services provided by AT&T are not affected, the company said, but all domain names, such as e-mail addresses, previously using the suffix @home.com will now be switched over to @attbi.com. -- Bay City News Service