SHCC WYSIWYG Article from May 2002

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This article appeared in the May 2002 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Questions To Ask A Prospective ISP

by Don VanSyckel

I have put together a list of questions to ask a prospective ISP.  I am going to attempt to get support to request our state legislators to pass a law requiring ISPs to provide the answers to these questions so that the average consumer can have a chance of informed shopping.

Questions to ask a potential cable provider:

SPEED:
What is the maximum speed down?  (want more than 1 Megabit)
What is the minimum guaranteed speed down? (want more than 400 Kilobits)
Is there a limit on the amount of data down? (want no limit)
What is the maximum speed up?  (want more than 1 Megabit)
What is the minimum guaranteed speed up? (want more than 400 Kilobits)
Is there a limit on the amount of data up? (want no limit)
EMAIL:
What is the maximum size of the email inbox? (want more than 20 Megabytes)
If there is a limit can more be purchased and what is the price schedule?
What is the maximum size for email messages received?
What is the maximum size for email messages sent?
What is the maximum number of email message recipients?
How many email addresses are included?
Are more available and at what price?
Does each email address have it's own inbox space?
Can email be accessed from the internet versus the company network?
NEWS SERVER:
Is a news server available?
Do you filter or censor news groups available in any manner?
Do you filter or censor news content in any manner?
Is news content download amount or speed limited?
WEB HOSTING SPACE:
Is web hosting space included?
Are there limits on delivering content (amount)?

OTHER FEATURES:
Are there any other features available that were not already covered?
File storage?
Web page design tools?
CABLE MODEM:
Is the cable modem supplied in the base price or is it rented?
Does the network connection of the cable modem support 10/100?
Can a user supplied cable modem be used?
Is the cable modem a complete stand alone device not requiring any specialized software on the PC just to complete the connection?

If you have any questions or comments, contact me.  Also if you would like to help with promoting this cause let me know.

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