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Excite@Home seeks global broadband domination

Ha! Not on these figures it won't

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Excite@Home's boast of becoming a global broadband player appears to be ringing a little hollow today following the publication yesterday of its Q1 results.

At the end of March the outfit recorded some 3.2 million consumer broadband customers. However, of these only 333,000 were recruited from its global operations outside of North America.

With 90 percent of broadband subscribers in the US and the other 10 per cent scattered about the world, it seems to be a bit rich banging on a about a global operation, no?

Indeed, it's not known at this point how many of the 450,000 "worldwide broadband subscribers" that it attracted during the last quarter were actually from outside the US. Our guess is that it's not that much.

No matter. It's still early days for broadband and all the signs so far suggest that it's going to be a long old haul before hi-speed Net access reaches any sizeable or significant penetration - certainly outside the US.

Indeed, Excite@Home's international operations failed to inspire much at all. Combined, they contributed just $6.8 million in Q1 - a 6 per cent increase over Q1 2000. And that performance is on the basis that international broadband subscribers - mostly in Japan we note - have increased fivefold since March 2000.

The majority of Excite@Home's revenue came from its US operation. It's consumer broadband subscribers made up $75.4 million in Q1 - just under half of total revenues $142.8 million. However, total Q1 figures are just up just 3 per cent up on the corresponding period last year.

Excite@Home also reported that revenues from media and advertising sources was down 41 per cent to $45.1 million in Q1 driven primarily by "general softness in the online advertising market".

Pitifully, traffic on the Excite Network, which includes Excite@Home's broadband and narrowband media properties, stagnated increasing by just one per cent on the year.

All this means that Net operating loss, which excludes non-operating costs and other items, was $61.6 million for the quarter, compared to a net operating loss of $4.6 million in Q1 2000. Executives blame the increase loss on the cost of developing the company's broadband network.

Net loss for the quarter was also up - from $676.5 million in Q1 2000 to $832.6 million in Q1 20001.

Oh, and before we forget, Excite@Home named Patti S Hart, the former CEO of Telocity, as its new CEO. Chairman, George Bell, has had enough and will leave the company. ®

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