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So what do users think?
Tuesday 11 November 2003 10:29:00 by Sebastien Lahtinen

We have been publishing speed test results each month for some time and whilst we have provided a means for comparing ISPs based on the ratings including customer service and reliability, we have not yet published a league table showing the positions of all the providers.

The following table includes user ratings since the beginning of this year until the end of September (i.e. results submitted by the end of October). Because it shows results over a longer term, it is less likely to be affected by small month-to-month fluctuations that can show up in speed tests. The number of ratings required is 300 per month for at least the last four consecutive months of the period:

Rank

ISP

Reliab.

Cust. Svc

Speed

Overall

Total

1 Nildram 8.6 6.5 8.6 7.9 19,296
2= Zen Internet 8.6 6.2 8.4 7.7 13,381
2= Eclipse Internet 8.7 5.9 8.6 7.7 10,793
4 PlusNet 8.2 6.2 8.1 7.5 15,177
5 Freedom 2 Surf 8.5 5.2 8.1 7.3 5,697
6 BlueYonder 7.9 5.9 7.7 7.2 6,208
7 Bulldog 7.4 6.8 7.2 7.1 4,019
8 PIPEX Internet 8.3 4.5 8.0 6.9 35,178
9= Virgin Net 7.2 4.9 7.0 6.4 7,627
9= Demon 7.2 5.0 7.1 6.4 7,336
11 BT Broadband 7.3 4.7 6.9 6.3 19,331
12 AOL 6.5 5.7 6.1 6.1 8,797
13 NTL Home 6.9 4.4 6.7 6.0 7,829
14 BTOpenworld / Yahoo 7.0 3.9 6.5 5.8 32,697
15 Freeserve 7.0 3.7 6.5 5.7 16,278
16 Tiscali 5.7 3.8 4.2 4.9 12,170
Columns stand for Reliability and Customer Service, Speed and Overall denoting average of the three
measurements. Note that the "speed" is the subjective rating and not the speed tester result.

There seems to be a wide range of results across the table but three major groups (ranks 1 to 4 with overall scores of 7.5 to 7.9, ranks 5 to 8 with scores of 7.3 to 6.9, and 9 to 15 with scores of 6.4 to 5.7) appear.

The graph below shows the month-to-month results from the providers listed above which have varied significantly over the period, show interesting changes or have noticeable recent trends:

As with speed test results, users should always consider all relevant factors when choosing an ISP and relying exclusively on a single set of test results or ratings is not appropriate. We would encourage you to use this data in conjunction with other information (recommendations from trusted acquaintances and ISP involvement on our forums, etc) when making your decision. [seb]

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