WorldNet, AT&T's Internet service, now has 800,000 customers. It is at least 35 percent larger than any other internet service provider (ISP) . America Online, CompuServe, MSN, and Prodigy actually serve more users, but each offers a broader range of products and services arid are more than just an ISP. Many of the databases to which subscribers to these services have access are not on the Internet, but on these services' own networks. That is why e-mail communication with their users is so difficult if one is not on that same network.
AT&T has made a business decision not to compete directly with America Online or others but instead plans to compete with local and regional ISPs on reliability and price. It already is known for its reliability, but its $19.95 per month pricing is being undercut by a number of local and regional ISPs. Nevertheless, any library seeking an ISP might do well to contact AT&T for comparison against other options. Descriptions, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers for AT&T and its competitors can be found at http://www.cnet.com/Content/Reviews/Compare/ISP/highest.html.