At Home’s Woes

Mercury News: At Home warns it may run out of cash. At Home’s financial problems stem, in part, from the collapse of online advertising, which has battered its online media properties. The company has been trying since April to sell its media division, which includes the Excite portal and the BlueMountain online card site.

This isn’t good news by anyone’s standard. At Home has built a superb backbone infrastructure. Its biggest problem may have been the alliance with cable companies, which are the paradigms of lousy customer service.

Even if At Home does go under, however, it shouldn’t be the end of speedier Internet access for its customers. I can’t imagine that the cable TV companies will allow that.

But the trend remains ominous. We seem to be getting further from ubiquitous high bandwidth, not closer. The failure of telecommunications deregulation isn’t the major culprit in this case, but until the nation addresses it we won’t have much prospect for genuine progress.


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