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Excite@Home Goes Global, Targets 11 Million Homes

Excite@Home Monday took another step in expanding its global empire, signing a series of deals to bring its footprint to five more countries.

The company says its has been negotiating with cable and network operators for six months and the result will be the addition of 11 million homes to its high-speed Internet subsciber base over the next year.

Excite@Home has inked agreements in Europe, Australia and Japan, and each deal is a seven-year commitment.

Excite@Home (ATHM) Monday announced that the company's joint venture with Dutch cable operators Palet and Castle, dubbed @Home Benelux, will add 2.5 million homes to the network through a deal with Belgium-based network operator Telenet.

The company will also form @Home Network Australia as a joint venture with Cable & Wireless Optus, with 2.2 million homes committed.

@Home Japan will be developed as a joint venture with Sumitomo Corp. and Jupiter Telecommunications, and has a target goal of 5 million home subscribers.

Last month, Excite@Home, made a deal with Deutsche Bank Investor and Tele-Columbus to develop @Home Germany. Tele-Columbus is expected to contribute more than 2 million homes to the deal, with more companies invited to join the network as affiliates.

With Excite@Home's North American subscriber base totalling at 59 million homes, the new deals will make international users count for 20 percent of the company's entire market share.