Project #4    Internet Providers

Introduction With considerable growth in Internet use, hardware is constantly taxed to its limits. Almost daily, there are reports of providers such as AOL which crash or limit access. While much Internet use is recreational, an increasing number of businesses also depend on fast, reliable service. The nature of what is being transmitted is also changing, from ordinary data and text to high quality graphics, sound, and sensitive data requiring security.

Background Section 8.3 of Kolman on Markov Chains, especially transition matrices.

Your role: decide if you are in management or engineering for a hypothetical company which is an Internet provider. Feel free to clarify this position as much as you like.

Mathematical Model: Suppose the transition matrix refers to movement between your company and your compeition. This means there are essentially 3 kinds of entries in the matrix: the one that refers to your retention of customers, the ones that refer to loss of customers and the ones that refer to gaining customers from other providers. For each of the three kinds of entries, list as many factors as you can which effect them.

Next, from your chosen perspective, list as many ways as you can so that your company can improve its market share in the near future. Your approach should be noticeably different depending on whether you have chosen management or engineering.

Your choices should strike a balance between being cutting edge and reliable.

Finally, how will you go about quantitatively measuring to see if your improvments have been effective?

Feel free to use outside references (material or people).