KPNQwest customers abandon ship

ISPs picking up the business...

ISPs picking up the business...

Data network customers are abandoning the sinking ships of KPNQwest and WorldCom to join the ranks of previously less popular ISPs. Serafino Abate, senior analyst at Ovum, said the trend is likely to continue as the market shifts its attention from dealing with carriers directly, to putting the middle man back in the picture. He said: "The demise of KPNQwest and WorldCom has shocked business customers. Carriers tried to be everything by taking care of service provisioning themselves and that backfired. We will see more carrier customers going to ISPs instead of direct to the carriers." One such customer to move over to an ISP is IG Index, a UK spread betting service. The online bookie discovered KPNQwest had gone bankrupt on 31 May, coinciding with the start of the World Cup and the company's busiest betting period. Adam Jackson, head of IT services at IG Index, said: "We were in a bit of a panic. Our immediate issue was to ensure business continuity. We chose ISP Netscalibur as it was the most helpful business and worked through the night with us to get the network prepared for a changeover. "The crucial thing is Netscalibur are selling us a service, not bandwidth infrastructure. One year ago KPNQwest was a solid company. I wouldn't have thought that a company that carries 25 to 30 per cent of all internet traffic in Europe would go belly up." A spokeswoman from Netscalibur agreed with Jackson. "You wouldn't have thought major players would be at risk, especially after the dot-com boom when all the unstable companies went away. Before this, the concept and value of ISPs wasn't understood. This has helped accelerate the ISP cause." Ovum's Abate added: "The ISP field has consolidated and those that remain have proved themselves able to provide a good service, not just line access." Colt Telecom is providing a 34Mb line for IG Index on behalf of Netscalibur that should be available to the business this week, enabling it to leave KPNQwest for good.