Call Success Rates In Hibernation During Winter

Inverse Network Technology Inc. released its latest Internet access report card, which showed it was the winter of discontent for many Internet users.

The firm tested ISP performance for the first quarter of 1999. The ability for users to connect to their ISPs on the first try during peak evening hours — 6 p.m. to midnight — was the worst in January, with one out of seven tries failing to connect to the ISP. In February and March, one out of nine and one out of 10 calls, respectively, did not connect to the ISP on the first try.

Typically the first quarter sees the worst connectivity results of the year, said Michael Watters, Inverse president and chief executive officer, who attributed the low call success rate to the holiday season and winter weather.

“. . .Many people receive PCs as gifts during the holiday season, and spend the next several months
discovering the vast amount of information on the World Wide Web,” he said. “Another factor is the weather, which makes Internet surfing far more compelling an activity than shoveling snow.”

In terms of individual ISPs, Pacific Bell Internet Services and AT&T Global Network Services both received an “A+” for the entire first quarter for evening hour performance, and Southwestern Bell Internet Services received A+s for January and February and an A for March.

During business hours, it was AT&T WorldNet, BellAtlantic, BellSouth, Prodigy and U S West that earned As or A+s for all months in the quarter.

While the call success rate was the lowest its been since last January, download times are the fastest they’ve ever been, the report said. The average time it takes to download a web page decreased from 34 seconds in December to 31 seconds in January. During February and March download times averaged just under 30 seconds.

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