'Forced Migration' of Online Users

In one of the largest ‘forced migration’ in Internet history, Comcast will forcibly migrate the e-mail addresses of the 1.9 million AT&T Broadband cable modem users from the attbi.com to comcast net domain. All because the Comcast company purchased AT&T’s broadband operations last year. Comcast will automatically forward users e-mail to the new addresses, but only for 60 days. Besides their e-mail addresses changing, all the domains for any AT&T Broadband users’ personal web sites will change.

I’m sure that many of those millions of subscribers will forget to send changes of e-mail messages to their friends. Few will remember to visit all the sites where they might have e-mailed news or e-mailed entertainment subscriptions and change their e-mail addresses for those subscriptions. Few of those millions are techno-geeks or true ‘always-on’ users; most are just average consumers. Also, the domain change will also break any absolute HTML links to their personal Web.

In other words, Comcast’s forced migration of those addresses will create havoc for most those users. Why couldn’t Comcast just keep them on the old attbi.com domains and addresses? There is no technical reason why not. Comcast could have purchased the domain name from AT&T. Did Comcast? I don’t know. Perhaps Comcast just wants to ‘brand’ those 1.9 million users. Scar is more accurate.