Comcast: AT&T transition steady so far

The company says "a majority" of former AT&T Broadband subscribers have switched over to Comcast.net--although a small number of customers experienced delays in receiving e-mail.

Comcast says "a majority" of former AT&T Broadband subscribers have switched over to its Comcast.net domain name, and the change was fairly smooth--although a small number of customers experienced delays in receiving e-mail.

Subscribers affected by the delays were those who had a secure socket layer (SSL) configuration to authenticate their e-mail, the cable Internet giant said Tuesday. Comcast did not open its e-mail servers to SSL-configured e-mail users until 9 a.m.

"The last piece of that transition was to set configurations to allow IP (Internet Protocol) addresses using SSL to get into our mail servers," said Mitch Bowling, vice president of operations for Comcast's high-speed Internet group.

A Comcast representative said the top issue so far has been customers calling in to reset passwords for the Comcast.net Web site and for the transition software. The representative declined to say how many of its total subscribers have successfully changed to Comcast.net.

The change in customers' e-mail domains from attbi.com to Comcast.net began Monday as part of the final phase in Comcast's $72 billion acquisition of AT&T Broadband. Comcast offered software to subscribers using Microsoft's Outlook Express e-mail to automatically change settings. Customers who don't use Outlook Express or the Macintosh operating system were given instructions to manually change internal settings.

The transition so far seems far less bumpy than in December 2001, when Comcast shifted its Excite@Home users onto its system. At that time, Excite@Home customers found their network connections hampered and customer service lines flooded.

Comcast acquired AT&T Broadband in November 2002, and it is now the largest cable service provider in the United States. Its broadband Internet service is also the largest in its category and currently has more than 4 million subscribers.

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