March 4, 2004, 12:00 AM

A heads up on Internet slow-downs

Keynote Systems is making its Internet performance alerts available to retailers and anyone interested in knowing when the Internet hits performance problems.

Keynote Systems is making its Internet performance alerts available to retailers and anyone interested in knowing when the Internet hits performance problems. Until now, the alerts were used internally at Keynote and made available to journalists. “Retailers and other web site operators have to learn about Internet problems through secondary means, like the news media,” says Roopak Patel, senior Internet analyst at Keynote. “This way they’ll know it firsthand.”

The alerts will not flag problems with particular sites, but only when the Internet in general experiences a slowdown, such as when a worm or virus disrupts traffic or when a sudden crowd to a web site slows response across the Internet. “These slowdowns may occur across a wide swath of the country, occur with little or no warning and leave individual users perplexed as to whether or not the problems they are experiencing are theirs alone, or are problems being experienced by many others,” Keynote says.

Given the competitive nature of online retailing, in which customers can find alternate products with a click of the mouse, these alerts could be of special interest to retailers, Patel says. “The quicker the site operator becomes aware of a problem, the sooner they can take action to avert end-user impact,” he says.

Keynote monitors Internet performance with 1,600 computers located around the world. The alerts will be sent via e-mail. Keynote is hosting sign-up at its web site: http://www.keynote.com/sbl_forms/optin.html

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