How to compare ISPs ?

I try to help a friend who wants to sell the following package to shopkeepers:
a - creation of a webpage for their shop
b - hosting (and maintenance) of this webpage

So he wants to be the intermediary between the shopkeepers and the ISP or other professional providing the hosting. What seems important:
- webpage will be business related so a free hosting is probably not possible
- he wants the pages on a fast and reliable "server"
- he wants to start with a few webpages only, and then extend as he sells his offer more and more

We are now wondering on the technicall criterias to watch when selecting such a hosting solution. What will make the difference between a 'slow' and 'fast' server ? Is it  the bandwith ? More generally, what are the best practices here ?

Please note: the question is not how to find an ISP or other prof for the hosting, but on what criteria -other than the price- to compare them. I realize this is a very open question, so I'll rate it as a hard one.
Thanks for any info.
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t1n0m3nConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Do they get your bill correct?
Do they install on time?
Do they guarantee the install to be on time?
Do they employ Service Level Agreements?
If so, what are the penalties?
How much up time to they guarantee?
Do they have a dedicated security team?
What OS does their host run on?
How much bandwidth to they give you?
Do they overcharge you or cut the traffic off when you hit your limit?
How many people do they employ?
Where are they physically located?
Do they connect to diverse backbones? (I.E. AT&Tvs.Digex)
What kind of Lan Equipment do they use?
What kind of Wan Equipment do they use?
What tier Internet backbone do they directly connect to?
Who is it?
Do they provide firewall services?
Will you be notified of security problems.
Do they sell you or your customer's information to anyone?
How about give it away to anyone?
What does the Better Business Bureau say about them?
Have they filed for bankruptcy in the past two years?

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I can ask questions all day.
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Oh, you might want to ask if they are profitable, or are they operating at a loss.
Are they public or privately held?

Stop me at any time.
And as always get all answers from them in writing.
Eric98Author Commented:
Thanks so much, sorry I couldn't answer sooner.
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