Friday, May 2, 2008

On Ramp Access

Chances are you’ve never even heard of OnRamp Access. Don’t worry, neither have I. But after digging up all the dirt I can find on this service provider, I can tell you there really isn’t that much to be dug up. OnRamp Access prides itself with over a decade of experience, and it seems to work; their commitments are higher than a majority of the providers out there.

At a fair price of about $399.95/month, you get a fully dedicated T1 line along with e-mail accounts that have a spam/virus filtering service. Their commitments are above par at 99.9% for on-net network availability and data delivery, 99.5% for off-net network availability, and 100% on throughput. The maximum latency, although not specifically guaranteed, stands at roughly 90ms while the maximum restoration time is at your standard four hours. The best thing of all, however, is that unlike most other service providers that require about 30 days for installation, OnRamp Access offers a provisioning date of only 5-7 days from time of purchase, with a maximum installation period of only 10 days. This will allow your company to get up and running at 1/3 the time of most other ISP’s provisioning contracts.

There are several bad aspects of OnRamp Access, though. First of all, some of the items that you would get along with your T1 service are not readily available with OnRamp Access. For example, you have to pay an additional $20 per month for web hosting. Also, should you want to cancel your service before the contract is up, you still have to pay 100% of the remaining contractual price. Did I mention that the company only has about 25 employees? Yeah, you heard correctly: 25 employees. But if you don’t believe me, this is what they officially state: “Onramp Access has 25 employees. The staff is comprised of a broadband sales team that handles Collocation, T1/T3, Dedicated Servers, a Web Site design/Development team, a fully manned Network Operations Center 24/7/365 and an Admin/Billing Department.”
How they have that many departments to handle everything with only 25 people boggles me, too.

The good: Good pricing for a decent T1 line – despite its small size, their product is not oversubscribed (much). OnRamp Access provides a good range of commitments and a very good provisioning time.

The bad: 25 employees. Seriously, I can’t figure it out. There’s got to be a drawback with that low number of paid workers.

The bottom line: OnRamp Access has a good, competitive price for its services. Although the provisioning timeframe sounds really good, I think there are plenty of other ISPs that are more solid than this one.