Your morning FUD

SAN FRANCISCO -- Internet performance is too low to support
serious transactional business by ASPs, and trends indicate that
improvements may be inadequate over the next several years, a
recent study has found.

Northeast Consulting Resources Inc., of Boston, reports that the
growing complexity of Web pages and increased network delays will
reverse improvements in Internet performance built over the last
four years.

The findings are bad news for application service providers, which
promise to deliver enterprise resource planning and customer
relationship management applications.

"When the ASP applications come, the time of reckoning will
appear," Peter Sevcik, an analyst for NCRI, said earlier this month
at the 1999 Global Internet Performance Conference here.

Router runaround

NCRI says technology improvements have cut the average
download time of basic business Web pages from 12 seconds to 6
seconds since 1995, a significant drop despite a 120 percent increase
in page size.

However, those improvements may not be sustainable over the next
three years because overall delays within the Internet have become
significantly higher, due primarily to the increasing number of

More routers are added as sites deploy additional hardware to
provide more scalability. The increasing number of router hops
imposed upon data could deteriorate availability to about 9 seconds,
the study found.

NCRI based its study on data provided by Keynote Systems Inc., a
San Mateo, Calif., Web performance research company that
publishes the Keynote Business 40 Internet Performance Index, an
industry benchmark based on the performance and reliability of 40
leading business Web sites.

Keynote announced here at the conference the Keynote Consumer
40 Internet Performance Index, which will be based on the
performance of 40 consumer Web sites accessed through a 56K-bps

Indexes also will be available for digital subscriber line and cable
modems, and the whole package will be sold as the Keynote
Consumer Perspective service, which will be available later this
quarter, company officials said.

Pricing was not yet available.