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XS4ALL 15 years (Computers, XS4ALL)

Fifteen years ago we were preparing to turn on a small machine in the back of a closet. The next day we were going to open the first public ISP in The Netherlands, and one of the first in Europe. We did not think we’d get many customers as Internet was not as we know it now. It was before browsers, before websites, wikipedia or any other part of Internet we now take for granted. It was all text based, with e-mail as the primary service. We were wrong. On the first day we got more customers than we had projected for 6 months and for years to come we scrambled to keep up.

In 1998 XS4ALL was bought by KPN telecom, the best suitor in a long line of companies interested in XS4ALL. This shocked almost everyone as KPN had been seen as the enemy by many. How could XS4ALL allow itself to swallowed up by this faceless, heartless monster. In the years to follow, we have shown that this choice had been the right one. As many small ISPs from that era have disappeared, XS4ALL has flourished under KPN, remaining as one of the most respected ISPs in the country.

But times are catching up with XS4ALL. The market is consolidating and growth is harder to achieve. We are trying to maintain our high level of service, but this is becoming increasingly harder as competitors are slashing prices to below that of sustainability. So we have to change as well. Become leaner, slash costs, while at the same time keeping our reputation intact. Time will tell if we’ll succeed, but it’s been a great 15 years so far.

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