• United States

Not so real-time

Apr 07, 20032 mins
Internet Service ProvidersNetworking

* pulls PC-based real-time pricing feature

Last week, we told you about, a Web site that allows users to shop for Internet connectivity in real-time. Launched last month, the real-time feature allowed users to fill out a short form with details including their phone number, zip code and the type of connectivity they were looking for, and a list of quotes would appear.

In addition to offering real-time quotes, was for the first time also able to integrate local loop charges. But the real-time feature was short-lived: After just a month, pulled the feature last week.

“It was hurting sales,” says Henry Kaestner, CEO and co-founder of There were many users coming to the site to get pricing information, but the majority were then calling the carriers directly to get the prices they saw on the Web site, he says.

This was true even though a sales representative would call within minutes of the pricing information appearing on a user’s screen.

As we reported last week,’s sales for February totaled $2.4 million, before the real-time tool was available. Sales in March were down to $1.8 million, Kaestner says. He also says the company’s contract backlog is down by 40%.

The idea behind is that not only will business customers use the site to get competitive bids, but also buy their connectivity through The company currently has 875 business customers.

Kaestner says that the company can still offer real-time quotes, but those quotes will not be delivered to your PC. Instead a sales representative will call you within five minutes. is not the only Web site that offers business users competitive Internet access rates. and also work with multiple ISPs to offer users economical connectivity rates. But Kaestner says his company still offers users a much faster service.

The other sites promise a response within 24 hours. For the majority of users, it’s not really clear if the quicker call back time would make much of a difference in the long run. Regardless if you shop with,, T1Anywhere or directly with multiple ISPs, just do yourself a favor and shop around.