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J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Cox Ranks Highest
by BBR_InsUW 08:43PM Wednesday Sep 21 2005
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J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Cox Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction among High-Speed Internet Providers; SBC Yahoo! Ranks Highest among Dial-Up Providers

Dial-Up Accelerators Make Big Impact on Time Subscribers Spend Online

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 21 September 2005 —Cox ranks highest in satisfying high-speed Internet customers, while SBC Yahoo! ranks highest among dial-up Internet providers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM released today.

Now in its eighth year, the study measures customer satisfaction with Internet service providers based on seven factors. They are: performance and reliability; cost of service; image; customer service/technical support; billing; e-mail services; and offerings and promotions.

Cox records the most improvement in the study, increasing 20 index points from 2004. Cox receives the highest ratings in the high-speed segment in performance and reliability and customer service. Following Cox in the rankings are Verizon, BellSouth and Bright House, respectively.

SBC Yahoo! receives particularly strong ratings from its dial-up customers in offerings and promotions and cost of service. SBC Yahoo! is followed in the rankings by AT&T Worldnet and EarthLink, respectively.

The study finds that dial-up accelerators are having a big impact on the number of hours dial-up users spend online. Overall Internet usage among dial-up customers has increased from 15.6 personal hours per week in 2004 to 17.8 in 2005. Among those using dial-up accelerators, Internet usage averages 19.9 hours—10 percent higher than broadband users, who average 18.1 hours per week. Customers using dial-up accelerators also report spending less on Internet service than the dial-up average—$19.35 per month compared to $20.04 for all dial-up users. Reflecting increasingly competitive pricing, high-speed users report spending less on average in 2005—$43.83 per month in 2005, down from $44.12 in 2004.

"Speed is the name of the game in the Internet world, and customers who use accelerators are more likely to switch to broadband products like DSL and cable modem down the road," said Steve Kirkeby, senior director of telecommunications research at J.D. Power and Associates. "With nearly one-third of dial-up users saying they intend to switch to a high-speed connection in the next six months, dial-up accelerator users are more likely to switch to their current providers’ high-speed product, retaining them as customers for the long term."

Although DSL subscribers are significantly more satisfied than cable modem users for a second consecutive year, cable modem providers are increasing market share at a faster pace than DSL. In 2005, cable modems account for 28 percent of Internet subscriptions—up from 24 percent in 2004. Sixteen percent of Internet service subscriptions are for DSL service—up just 1 percent from 2004. However, among the 32 percent of dial-up subscribers who say they will definitely or probably switch to high-speed in the next six months, 47 percent intend to go to DSL. Only 30 percent intend to switch to cable modem.

High-speed subscribers are more price sensitive than dial-up in deciding when and where to switch, whereas connection speed is much more important for dial-up than high-speed subscribers. The effects of discounted packaging of services are also evident, with this issue having factored into the decision of 62 percent of subscribers who switched to high-speed versus 39 percent to dial-up.

"Price competition among high-speed providers is increasingly prevalent," said Kirkeby. "Although service interruption is considered by more than one-half of high-speed service subscribers as important, price is the No.1 reason to switch. Long term, however, product performance will be the main reason they stay."

The 2005 ISP Residential Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 6,313 residential customers of Internet service providers nationwide.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education and BusinessWeek. The Corporation has more than 300 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2004 were $5.3 billion. Additional information is available at »

Media Relations Contacts:
John Tews
Director, Media Relations
J.D. Power and Associates
5435 Corporate Drive, Suite 300
Troy, MI, 48098
(248) 312-4119, or cell (248) 321-5109
Michael Greywitt
Director, Media Relations
J.D. Power and Associates
2625 Townsgate Road, Suite 100
Westlake Village, CA 91361
(805) 418-8526, or cell (805) 908-1548

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates.