Research by IT market analyst the Butler Group suggests that CompuServe, MSN and AOL provide a service up to 20 times slower than smaller providers, leading to expensive connect times. The results were based on tests conducted over 10 random periods.
Report author Anthony Kennon recommends that customers should spend longer assessing what they require from ISPs, and should place performance ahead of bells and whistles. Kennon says choosing the right ISP early is important as Web usage within companies spirals and problems remain related to changing IP addresses when ISPs are swapped out.
"As well as looking for guaranteed service levels from ISPs that meet existing performance requirements, customers should be looking for assurances that the ISP has capacity to meet expected increases in demand," Kennon says. "Bandwidth needs and upgrade pathways are vital considerations."