Report: IBM best Internet provider, AOL worst
December 3, 1997
Web posted at: 10:07 p.m. EST (0307 GMT)
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- America Online Inc. may be the world's
biggest online service, but its problems with "spam" and poor
support services make it the worst national Internet service
provider, according to PC World magazine.
AOL ranked last among the 12 national companies that offer
customers access to the Internet, according to a report in PC
World's January 1998 issue.
International Business Machines Corp.'s IBM Internet
Connection ranked as the best overall, and Concentric Network
Corp. was second, the report said.
The publication said it tested the services on criteria such
as ease of connecting during peak evening hours, connecting
speed, delivering and receiving e-mail on time and online
help. It also solicited input from 6,000 users of its PC
World Online site.
The better providers offered fast access, solid support
services, ease when setting up software and modems that
allowed connections at 56-kilobits per second.
Though AOL is rich with content, easy to use and supports
56K modems, it is "a Web surfer's nightmare," the report
AOL's connections are slow due to high call volume, and the
system is rife with advertisements and "spam" -- e-mail
messages that are the electronic equivalent of junk mail.
An AOL spokeswoman declined to comment on the survey, noting
that she had not read the report.
AOL has about 10 million subscribers worldwide, nearly four
times that of its nearest competitors.
The third best service was offered by EarthLink Network
Inc., the report said, followed by MindSpring Enterprises
Inc., Sprint Corp.'s Sprint Internet Passport and AT&T
Corp.'s AT&T Worldnet.
Rounding out the 12 ranked services were CompuServe Corp.,
Prodigy Internet, MCI Communications Corp.'s MCI Internet,
Microsoft Corp.'s Microsoft Network, Netcom On-Line
Communications Inc. and AOL.
PC World, which is published by a unit of International Data
Group, also said that many consumers may be best served by
local and regional providers, who often offer lower fees,
better service and more reliable connections to the Internet.
Copyright 1997 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.