RealTime IT News

Keynote Rates Net Performance for 1997

The Internet showed notable increases in overall performance for 1997, according to Internet research firm Keynote Systems.

Collected throughout the year, Keynote took over 5.2 million measurements of the time it takes to download and access Web pages from 40 popular business Web sites during business hours. The researcher reports that the overall performance average for 1997 was 26.19 seconds.

During the week of December 2, 1996, average performance was 41.31 seconds; for that same week in December 1997, average performance improved 33% to 27.75 seconds. In 1997, the worst weekly performance average of 46.29 seconds occurred in February, and the best weekly average--15.25 seconds--took place in April.

During the year, the Internet exhibited poor performance in July when two fibre-optic cables were cut, thus causing traffic to stall (see InternetNe ws.com coverage for more information). Again, in September, traffic was stalled when millions of users were trying to download the just-released Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0.

Throughout the year, the Net was speedier during Spring break in March and April, throughout the summer months of July and August when many take their vacations, and over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday breaks.

According to Keynote's analyses of over 27 metropolitan areas, Boston and Milwaukee were the best places from which to access the Internet, whereas Tampa and San Diego residents experienced the slowest download speeds.

Keynote's performance index is published on a weekly basis, breaking down the 40 monitored businesses into six different categories: Publishing (i.e., CNNfn, USATODAY), Search Engines and Directories (i.e., AltaVista, Excite), Business Services (i.e., Federal Express, UPS), Financial Services (i.e., Charles Schwab), High Technology (i.e., Microsoft, Netscape), and Communications (i.e., AT&T, MCI).