Comcast tells its Net users to convert addresses

Change: With demise of Excite@Home imminent, the Internet clients must download software to transfer e-mail accounts -- soon.

February 07, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Comcast Cable Communications is switching its 90,000 metro-area Internet customers to a new e-mail system over the next two weeks, and company officials are asking users to adopt their new addresses sooner rather than later.

The e-mail switch is the final step in Comcast's plans to move its broadband network in-house after the December collapse of Excite@Home, which provided the communications backbone for 4 million customers of Comcast, Cox, AT&T and other cable Internet operators.

Comcast moved its customers' general Internet service to its own network last month. But Excite@Home has continued to manage Comcast e-mail under an agreement that ends Feb. 28, when Excite@Home will go out of business.

Over the past week, Comcast's customers in Baltimore, Harford, Howard and Anne Arundel counties have received mail and e-mail instructions for the changeover. Users must log on to a Comcast Web site and download a software package that will automatically change their e-mail settings, remove Excite@Home's customized browser and e-mail settings and install a new help system.

Tom Williams, director of technology for Comcast's local operation, said the help program will make it easier for technicians to diagnose problems online.

Williams said that as of Tuesday, about 5 percent of Comcast's customers had switched their e-mail; he urged the rest to make the change as soon as possible.

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