A survey of leased line Internet connections from 6000 organisations covering speeds ranging from 256Kbps right up to Gigabit Ethernet has revealed that as many as one in six are loaded to a degree where performance impacts are likely. NetEvidence, a network performance management outfit, undertook the research, and was surprised by the results. "We were particularly surprised that these customers who know their lines are overloaded are leaving them that way" says Richard Thomas, Managing Director of NetEvidence. "The organisations in the survey use our Highlight network monitoring system, so they are aware of the problem. However, many organisations don't have good visibility of this key resource and it's reasonable to assume that instances of overloading are even higher amongst this group."

Looking at the 1000 companies with the most heavily loaded lines, a number of reasons were presented as to why they had endured such low performance:

Customers are doing more with their Internet connections (such as virtual meetings or VoIP) but have no budget to upgrade.

The consistent, if poor performance and the vastly superior support provided with their Leased Line have kept them from switching to Broadband or DSL, even though it could be faster.

Internet applications have a built-in 'survival' mode to cope with poor connections and rarely fail completely. Instead, performance deteriorates slowly over time, and users simply get used to it. IT departments may choose to wait until they receive serious complaints before taking action.

At least nobody suggested that tangled cables were slowing down the Internet, which is something.