Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The @Home Brand Is Coming Back

Twenty years ago, a joint venture of TCI, Cox, and Comcast formed a high speed broadband business to get homes on the web faster than dial up. It was known as Excite@Home but like other cable joint ventures, it had difficulty operating. But it started a trend. Email addresses ended with @home and AOL and Prodigy were being usurped by broadband. This venture ended a decade ago and each cable company moved over to their own exclusive broadband business. With it came the rise of triple play - cable, telco, and broadband and a new revenue stream. The Exite@Home company was quickly forgotten by most consumers.

Well it seems Google is ready to resurrect the brand name. "Among the projects, revealed by a review of public records by this newspaper, are a lab to test a new consumer product under the brand name '@home' that will wirelessly stream music or data to other household devices, apparently similar to a prototype home audio service Google demonstrated publicly last year." Despite the similar name, I doubt most consumers even remember the first @home incarnation. It is clear that Google has their eyes set to compete with Apple in the product and wireless streaming space.