Final Word from Wednesday, February 6, 2008

AOL used to be the king of the internet in the U.S., but its long slide began when customers started having trouble connecting to its service. More investment at the right time could have at least postponed the misery, but media attention instead precipitated it. In the CR, customers of banks, telecoms operators and internet service providers are no strangers to dropouts and breakdowns, but the advertising strength of the main players means that little attention is paid to it in the media. O2's email server can be down for days at a time because of too little investment for overcoming spam attacks, but rarely does even a small notice appear in the press. Nor have we seen much mention of the way users must sometimes wait hours to receive an SMS over the T-Mobile network. Without greater media scrutiny, Czechs will continue to overpay for underperformance from their IT service providers.[Czech Republic information technology ICT American on Line Time Warner United States]

Glossary of difficult words

AOL - America on Line, now a unit of Time Warner;

to precipitate - to cause something to happen, esp. suddenly or prematurely;

dropout - a loss of service due to a technical problem;

media coverage - this issue was indeed addressed in Dec., especially by HN, but the impression was given that system problems are limited mainly to the busy pre-Christmas period;

O2 - O2 informed us that it has invested in additional email servers and is in the process of implementing them; we are a customer of O2's, and it is also a customer of ours;

to overpay - to pay too much;

underperformance - performance that is less than expected;

IT - information technology.


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