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Judge Rules that Excite Can Terminate Contracts with Cable Companies

In the latest development in a confusing week, Judge Thomas Carlson ruled that Excite@Home can end partner contracts for access to their backbone. The company can refuse to carry Internet traffic on the current terms beginning at 3:00am Eastern Time, tomorrow. That's midnight Pacific Time, or about 9 hours from the publication of this article.

Where it once seemed like Excite@Home could end up playing Scrooge, it now appears that continuation of the service is really up to the cable companies. The judge is quoted as saying, "flipping the switch and shutting off service" was unlikely, and "It's clear that the continued operations have substantial interests to the cable companies."

For our part, we will be upset if Comcast does not come to an interim agreement with Excite@Home before Excite@Home decides to stop carrying Comcast's customers' Internet traffic.

Update: We have now done several stories on the impact of various aspects of Excite's bankruptcy on cable companies and their customers. To see other stories, search CTDATA for Comcast Excite.

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