You could ping them to see how good response times are. As far as speed goes, you may want to ask them to provide you with a speed test for their servers/network. Most hosts will be more than happy to provide you with a sample download to try out.
Hope this helps
Custom Imprinted Promotional Products www.promopunch.com 1-800-750-8530 x221
Connection speeds also vary widely by what network your site visitors and host are on and where they are.
A research to where you can traceroute from sites around the world is at www.tracert.com (click on traceroute)