What is “ISP”?

An Internet service provider (ISP) is an organization that provides services for accessing, using, the Internet. Internet service providers may be organized in various forms, such as commercial, community-owned, non-profit, or otherwise privately owned.

Internet services typically provided by ISPs include Internet access, Internet transit, domain name registration, web hosting, Usenet service, and colocation.

ISPs provide Internet access, employing a range of technologies to connect users to their network. Available technologies have ranged from computer modems with acoustic couplers to telephone lines, to television cable (CATV), wireless Ethernet (wi-fi), and fiber optics.

For users and small businesses, traditional options include copper wires to provide dial-up, DSL, typically asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL), cable modem or Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) (typically basic rate interface). Using fiber-optics to end users is called Fiber To The Home or similar names.

For customers with more demanding requirements (such as medium-to-large businesses, or other ISPs) can use higher-speed DSL (such as single-pair high-speed digital subscriber line), Ethernet, metropolitan Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet, Frame Relay, ISDN Primary Rate Interface, ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and synchronous optical networking (SONET).

Wireless access is another option, including satellite Internet access.