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JLasoff..Now that the rat has chilled a bit I will attempt a calm rational explanation from a rat's eyeball. Att owns the pipe with TCI...They will contro @home..right so far?..Now the bloated whale called AOL wants in..the boys at KPCB don't want to deal with gov't nuisance hearings and have to pay off Washinton hoes; SO...they appease AOL so the whale stops yapping and bleating..mostly lip service for sure..down the road they may give her a taste for a FEE....which T and TCI and ATHM will pocket. Basically the whole damn thing is a sham with the venture boys and T covering their butts from noisy politicos and bleating whales. AOL will have to shell out big bucks; hurting their bottom line for sure, for this "easement" that they need to get their trucks to the loading dock to pick up their rotting produce....rat

Let me add these thoughts Rat:

1. First the Cable Plants that @Home has exclusive agreements with are owned by 7 or 8 cable companies. TCI, Comcast, Cox, Rogers ... etc. T just owns a share of TCI and through that aquistion a piece of ATHM.

2. Since T only has a stake in TCI, thats the only portion of the cable system that T can even offer equal access to. I don't think this can happen either, but some apparently think that it may happen as part of the municipal franchise agreements transfer from TCI to T.

3. AOL might be trying to muscle in on these markets, but it will be a tough row to hoe. The Cities involved with these franchise agreements are playing with fire, and if they start holding T hostage over free access they are going to see their legal bills mount while upgrades to the system stall. In this scenario the Cities lose and the citizens lose. TCI owns an asset, the cable plant. T bought the plant. Requiring that T share their property is totally unlawful, and that fact will prevail in a court of law.

4. I think the real truth is that AOL will continue to grow on the narrow band side, while the cable modems will win on the broad band side, they're in the lead now. AOL will moan about being kept out of the Cable plant, but it will go no where as they eventually will be able to get broadband through DSL on the telephone system that is governed differently than the Cable system.

5. Why is it that we don't hear any crying by AOL that the Telephone companies are not moving fast enough with DSL? That is their mode of access now, the copper pairs. I'll tell you why. AOL can see the huge potential and lead in the industry that cable has put together and they want a piece of the action too.

Rat this is where our outlook departs, you say that AOL is a Whale, I say more like a shark, and the smell of blood is spreading over Cable Bay!

Good Luck,
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