The consideration regarding the choice of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) include:
a. The degree of access required
This is determined by whether ir not the user intends to make frequent use of the internent, whether they travel, whether they require dedicates access, (for many users in one alocation) or whether they will require to make many or large file transfers.
b. The track-record of the ISP
What is the ISP’s history with the internent? How many years of experience do they have in TCP/IP networking? Do they have experience with all aspects of the internent, such as Network adminstration, E-mail ftp, telnet, mailing lists, gopher and programming.
c. The customer services offered by the ISP
Does the ISP have a strong focus on the customer service? Does the ISP understand the access and security requirements of the client? Does the ISP offer 24/7 support? Does the ISP continually monitor the network link and call the user if/when it goes down? Doea the ISP offer toll feee support calls? Do they have adequate staff on their support lines? Does the ISP have 24hour access to each hub location with service people available to for problem.
d. Connectivity and bandwith
How much bandwith does the ISP offer (64 Kbps, 128 Kbps, 256 Kbps) How much bandwith is shared with others? Is a dedicated line service offered and of not, how many users are there per modem and phoneline? How direct is the internent connectivity? Are there dirext connections to the internent backbone and if not– how many links are there between the ISP and the backbone.
e. The price of the internent services
What services are offered for a standard price? What and how much are the extra services offered? What is the cost of a website? What storage and transmission volume is offered per month? What is the price of mailing list and new groups? How are the forms, databases and other programming accomodated? Are auto response mailers available? Does the service support Real Audio, Streaming, VRML, Java, Active X and other leading edge technologies? Are there website management options? ( Front page Extension and Traffics Statistics) Are design and programming services and support offered?
f. Contracts and accountability
Is there a standard contract or cab it be to suit the user? Is the ISP accountable and reliable for network related problems that affect the user’s site?