ISP consolidation

Robert Bowman rob at
Wed Apr 10 12:12:37 UTC 1996

> On Tue, 9 Apr 1996, Srinivasarao Mulugu wrote:
> > >There are other analysts (myself among them) who anticipate the number of
> > >North Amercan ISP's to grow by a third this year from around 2,000 to
> > >around 3,000. Yes, there is some consolidation, but this is very little
> > >in relation to the entry of new ISP's into the market. 
> > Well, one study I came across talks about a major shake-out over 
> > the next few years resulting in about 200 ISPs by 2000. It projects
> > a decline in the number of ISPs beginning early 1997.
> >  
> > Of course,some might say, a five-year projection is just about 
> > meaningless in a field such as this.....
> That's right. The Internet market and the Internet industry is still 
> growing by leaps and bounds. In order for a significant shakeout to 
> occur, that exponential growth curve has to level off. Even then there is 
> every possibility that there will be plenty of room for the small local ISP
> especially when you understand how an ISP operation can be integrated 
> with a number of other computer/networking oriented businesses.

Agreed completely.  At the Interop "show", about 1/3 of the visitors we 
received at our booth were interested in starting up their own ISP.  Funny 
how most of them really knew very little about the industry.  Most are 
presuming that it is young, which is true, and that it will still be easy to
get into the industry...  which is simply not true. 

As long as Wall Street likes the Internet, the industry will continue to 
grow by leaps and bounds.  When they decide it is no longer trendy/profitable
then we'll notice most of the garage ISPs will disappear.

I am interested in a clarification of the 2000 ISPs that exist.  What is the
definition of ISP as used in that calculation?  Am I an ISP at home because 
I share my ISDN with family and friends?  Are web hosting service providers
ISPs?  Dunno..


Robert Bowman
Sr. Hole Plugger
Exodus Communications Inc.
rob at
(408) 522-8473

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