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AT & T Reaffirms Plan to Bundle Net Services

November 03, 1998|Reuters

AT&T Corp. Chairman Michael Armstrong repeated his company's controversial strategy to sell a combined package of high-speed Internet access and services for one price after completing its acquisition of cable giant Tele-Communications Inc. Regulators have expressed concern about the bundling of Internet access and service on cable lines. Companies that offer online and Internet services have also objected to the bundling of so-called broad-band services. Speaking at a cable industry forum, Armstrong rejected the complaints and said consumers could always add other online and Internet services to the bundle offered by AT&T and TCI. "If those companies want to move up into broad-band, terrific," Armstrong said. "But getting a free ride on someone else's investment and risk is not the way to do it." At Home, the high-speed Internet service owned by TCI and other cable operators, charges consumers about $40 a month for access to the Internet and such features as electronic mail and a starting point for the World Wide Web. Customers who want the high-speed access but use another company for e-mail or other services still pay the full fee. Online companies and ISPs argue that At Home's bundling discourages customers from subscribing to their services.

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