Medin Calls Access Technically Feasible
Washington -- Excite@Home Corp. chief technology officer
Milo Medin said last week that the company is facing stiff but not overwhelming technical
challenges to opening its high-speed Internet facilities to third-party Internet-service
"We at Excite@Home have never actually said [open
access] is technically unfeasible -- in fact, it's quite technically feasible. We
just didn't build the network like that, so we have to go about and make some changes
to enable that," Medin said in remarks to the Washington Metropolitan Cable Club
In something of a surprise, Medin said open access would
require a change in the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification adopted by Cable
Television Laboratories Inc. for cable-modem manufacturers. A change in DOCSIS could
require existing cable-modem subscribers to obtain new modems if they wanted to use ISPs
other than Excite@Home.
Medin said in a later interview that it was "highly
likely" that the existing modem base could be upgraded to the new DOCSIS specs
through software downloads, though. "We designed DOCSIS to be evolveable," he
added. "We will know more about this as we get further down the process."
He said Excite@Home ended the fourth quarter with 1.4
million subscribers. AT&T Corp has pledged to carry additional ISPs when its
exclusivity deal with Excite@Home expires in June 2002.
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