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C-NET programming begins on WBPS 12/1/01 at about 3:15 PM EST

As of yesterday afternoon at about 3:15, C-NET's all high-tech all-the-time
talk programming, which has been broadcast for the last couple of years on
KNEW 910 Oakland-San Francisico, replaced Mega's SS Romantica music on the
highly directional 25 kW-D/3.4 kW-N signal of WBPS 890 Dedham. The new TOH
"legal" ID is strictly illegal--WBPS Boston (no mention of the true COL,

WBPS had been broadcasting an open carrier beginning, I guess, at midnight
Saturday 12/1. Shortly after 3:00 PM yesterday, I heard the _badly_
distorted sounds of someone trying (and failing) to establish a dialup
connection with a modem (complete with nearly unintelligible "please hang up
and try again" message). Moments afterward, a second attempt succeeded and
the programming began in the middle of a program already in progress.

Most of what I have heard since have been seemingly endless repeats of David
Lawrence's On-Line Tonight program (I think from Friday night, but I'm not
really sure). Until a few months ago, Lawrence's program was carried live on
WBNW 1120 Concord, and I gather that Lawrence has some big-time affiliates,
such as WGN Chicago.

I guess this is a good time to begin an all-high-tech talk format in a
tech-heavy market such as Boston. Parts of the on-line community are in a
crisis mode. It seems that AT&T Broadband has unceremoniously pulled the
plug on over 800,000 subscribers to the Excite@home cable-modem Internet
service. But with the abysmal quality of the reporting on Lawrence's show
and the others I've heard on WBPS and the uncertainty (resulting from
delayed repeats that aren't described as such) over when the situations I'm
hearing about actually existed, I'll be damned if I can figure out what's
going on.

Does AT&T own Excite@home or is AT&T trying to buy Excite? How is this
action related, if at all, to AT&T's upcoming decision on whether it should
sell or keep AT&T Broadband? And in AT&T's apparent decision to let Excite
go down the drain, what was the role of the courts' decision to allow
creditors to force Excite into bankruptcy? Lawrence has touched on all of
these subjects, but I guess he is just too close to his subject to do a
clear job of reporting, and I am quite mystified over what is going on.

One thing that I think I have gotten right is that subscribers to AT&T
Broadband's cable-modem Internet service who access the Internet via cable
systems that are part of AT&T's Media One network (including subscribers in
New England) have NOT lost their cable-modem service.

Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@att.net
617-558-4205, eFax 707-215-6367