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Comcast sets deadline for AT&T switch

AT&T Broadband subscribers swallowed in last year's billion-dollar takeover by Comcast must drop their familiar attbi.com addresses or face lost e-mail.

AT&T Broadband Internet service subscribers swallowed in last year's $72 billion acquisition by Comcast have until Monday to drop their familiar attbi.com addresses or else face lost e-mail.

Comcast began urging AT&T Broadband users a few weeks ago to prepare for the change, which aims to phase out the old AT&T brand. The company sent subscribers a link to download a "transition wizard" that would change their e-mail domains from "attbi.com" to "Comcast.net."

Subscribers who do not make the transition Monday will not receive e-mail into their accounts until they download the wizard or enter the change manually. Comcast will store these customers' e-mails for 45 days.

"It's a one-phase approach to change customers to Comcast," said Mitch Bowling, vice president of operations for Comcast High Speed Internet.

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.

Coinciding with the e-mail transition, Comcast on Monday also launched a redesign of its Comcast.net home page. As previously reported, the new home page is the first phase in Comcast's attempt to add more multimedia content and splashier graphics to the site. Comcast expects to complete Comcast.net's revamp this fall.