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Internet

Large ISPs feel the pinch

As a new study paints a gloomy picture for ISPs, it's the larger players that have the most to lose. CompuServe, for one, moves to flat-rate monthly pricing but at a higher rate than the standard $19.95.

After migrating to flat-rate pricing at about $20 a month, Internet access providers are facing a shakeup in their industry. Ironically, the small, local ISPs are more likely to find a port in the coming storm as they are able to provide customers with a reliable network and hands-on service, both of which have been a challenge for larger players. America Online may be looking to advertising and marketing deals to boost revenues, but CompuServe is moving away from industry-standard monthly fees.

ISP price trend not clear
By Courtney Macavinta
Analysts agree on at least one thing about CompuServe's new $24.95 monthly flat-rate price: It's about time.

ISPs find safety in small numbers
By Courtney Macavinta
news analysis With 650 customers, Internet-Duncan doesn't sweat big-city analysts' bleak forecasts for most Net providers. Not only is the ISP profitable, but local customers pine for its hometown hospitality.

CompuServe to offer flat rate
By Jeff Pelline
The online service will introduce a $24.95 flat-rate monthly fee, hoping that its reputation for speed and reliability will be worth it.

Local ISPs may survive shakeout
By Tim Clark and Jeff Pelline
In another doomsday pronouncement for Internet providers, the Gartner Group predicts that a large majority of the 4,500 U.S. ISPs will be forced out of business in the next five years.