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Detailed in the July issue of Boardwatch Magazine and the July/August Boardwatch Directory of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the new Keynote/Boardwatch Internet Backbone Index measures 29 leading backbones, finding profound performance differences among the group.
Keynote System's performance scores are based on how long it takes, from an end user's perspective, to access and download 50 kilobytes of data from the ISP's own Web site.
To arrive at their ratings, Keynote staffers attempted downloads every 15 minutes, around the clock, from 27 major metropolitan areas in the US for a one-month period from April 20 to May 20, achieving 1.75 million successful downloads.
The top eight Internet backbones each performed more than twice as fast as the overall average score of 9.928 seconds.
Conversely, the three slowest Internet backbones -- GoodNet, Global Center, and Bell Canada -- performed at least twice as slowly as the average score.
Some of the backbones that emerged as fastest, including Compuserve and AT&T WorldNet, were built quite recently.
"We have a long history of engineering networks. We've applied this same discipline to designing, sizing, and managing our new IP (Internet Protocol) network," maintained Erik Grimmelmann, VP of Network and Access for AT&T WorldNet, in an interview with Newsbytes.
AT&T WorldNet's above average Internet access speeds carry advantages for both corporate and dial-in users, the AT&T VP asserted.
Not only are AT&T WordlNet's corporate customers served more quickly, but Webmasters hosting sites with AT&T get faster access to staging servers through AT&T WorldNet dial-up service, according to Grimmelmann.
Grimmelman pointed out that AT&T first developed WorldNet in conjunction with BBN, and that "older" customers of AT&T WorldNet's dial-up service are still using BBN's Internet backbone network.
"Our plan is now to transition all (AT&T) customers (to the WorldNet backbone)," Grimmelman told Newsbytes, adding that AT&T is currently in talks with BBN about this subject.
AT&T WorldNet is also continuing to "evaluate next generation technologies" for its own backbone, Grimmelman remarked.
AT&T and BBN first announced intentions to add dial-up access to WorldNet during a nationwide videoconference attended by Newsbytes in September, 1995.
Also as previously reported, in a teleconference attended by Newsbytes in May of this year, GTE announced a strategy to become the first local exchange carrier (LEC) with nationwide Internet, voice, and video services, through moves that include a $616 million purchase of BBN, the acquisition of Qwest Communications' fiber network, and a joint development deal with Cisco for Internet and data applications.
Ranking 11 through 29 in the Keynote study, respectively, were the following Internet backbones: VisiNet, NapNet, Sprint, Epoch, CWIX, ABS, Digex, internet.MCI, DataXchange, CERFnet, BBN Planet, GetNet, NetRail, PSINet, IBM Global Network, CRL Network, GoodNet, Global Center, and Bell Canada.
(19970701/Press Contacts: Gene Shklar, Keynote Systems, 415-524- 3011; Jack Richard, Boardwatch, 303-933-8724; Mike Maney, AT&T WorldNet, 201-331-4293; Kay Paumier, Communications Plus, 510- 656-8512; Reported by Newsbytes News Network: http://www.newsbytes.com )
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