ExciteAtHome Corp , the once high-flying Internet service provider, Friday cut about 400 employees, and said it would cease all operations after Feb. 28 of next year.

Although the company had not previously announced the timing of its shut-down, it had been widely expected to cease all operations after AT&T Corp. earlier this month backed out of a deal to purchase its high-speed Internet service assets.

The closure of all the company's operations in February will be the final move in a long downward spiral that landed the company in bankruptcy in September.

ExciteAtHome was formed by the 1999 merger of the Internet content site Excite.com and the high-speed Internet service provider AtHome Corp -- two of the earliest dot-com companies.

Although both services attracted large audiences, they became bogged down with debt and also suffered from a lack of focus and from the crash in the online advertising market.

ExciteAtHome had hoped to recover some cash in bankruptcy proceedings by selling its crown jewel, the high-speed Internet access business, to AT&T, but that deal fell apart last month after feuding over the price turned bitter.

As a result, it appears that the company will not be able to save any jobs that would have transferred to AT&T. It said Friday that 900 employees will remain on to assist with the transition of service to other cable companies, but that when that work is completed it will make additional staff cuts.

The company has sold its Excite.com Internet portal to the content company InfoSpace Inc for $10 million -- a tiny fraction of what it was valued at at its peak.