J.D. Power: Customers rank EarthLink as top ISP
Whether it's narrowband or broadband, EarthLink Inc. is the top residential ISP in terms of overall customer satisfaction, according to a new study from J.D. Power and Associates.
J.D. Power compiled the rankings based on responses from more than 9,500 Internet customers, measuring components such as performance and reliability, customer service and e-mail services.
Among high-speed providers, EarthLink scored an index of 728, and was followed by Verizon (724), Road Runner (723), BellSouth and Cox Communications (713), SBC Yahoo! (707) and AOL (705).
Broadband ISPs falling below the high-speed index average score of 705 were Cablevision Systems Corp. (686), Qwest Communications (679), Charter Communications (663), Comcast Cable (657), and Adelphia Communications (641).
EarthLink also was tops among dial-up ISPs with a 748 score, followed by Juno/NetZero (730), AT&T WorldNet (724) and BellSouth (722). All other measured dial-up ISPs were ranked lower than the dial-up segment average of 715.
In other findings, J.D. Power said Internet customers are more satisfied with how their ISPs protect them against spam, but were not as satisfied when it came to protection against hackers and viruses.
Although overall Internet penetration is flattening, high-speed penetration is growing quickly. The study also found that 39 percent of those with any type of Internet connection use high-speed, up from 26 percent in 2003.
Broadband subs are spending an average of 18 personal hours per week on the Internet, up from 17.6 in 2003. Dial-up subs are spending less time on the Net: 15.6 hours in 2004 compared to 16.1 in 2003.
High-speed subs are spending more: $44.12 per month on service, up from $42.15 in 2003.