ISP stands for Internet Service Provider and as the name suggests, it means a company that can provide Internet and network-related services to individuals or organizations.

Users must pay ISPs for internet access, similar to utility bills. ISPs can offer this access in a variety of ways, such as dial-up, DSL, wireless, and fiber-optic connections.

Typically, the devices need to be connected to an ISP host to get access to the network through that provider's connectivity channel. Then users can browse the web, stream videos, and download files.

Of course, in addition to network access services, ISPs can also provide users with various types of services, such as e-mail, information dissemination agents, and so on. Users can choose the most suitable provider according to the ISP's network bandwidth, service programs, and charges.

ISP Types and Examples

Tier 1 ISPs

Tier 1 ISPs usually support very high bandwidth and have a large customer base and network equipment. These providers can reach all other networks on the Internet without paying anything via settlement-free interconnection.

・Example: AT&T, Verizon[US], Orange[France], PCCW Global[HK], Tata Communications[India].

Tier 2 ISPs

Tier 2 ISPs usually have their own networks and are able to participate in some peering, but they are reliant on Tier 1 ISPs. They need to pay Tier 1 ISPs to access larger Internet networks or get more rights. For this reason, Tier 2 ISPs are more common, as paying for transmission is much easier than becoming a Tier 1 ISP directly.

・Example: Hurricane Electric[US], BT Group[UK], KT Corporation[Korea]

Tier 3 ISPs

Tier 3 ISPs, then, are providers that can only purchase transmission to access the Internet. They focus primarily on building local businesses and work to provide Internet access exclusively to end customers such as businesses or individuals.

・Example: Boost Mobile, Powernet Global[US]

Services ISP Provide

・Internet Access: The primary service is access to the internet with varying speeds and data limits.

・Email Accounts: Some ISPs provide email services to their users to enable them to link email addresses to ISP accounts.

・Web Hosting: Some ISPs offer space on their servers for customers to host their websites.

・Domain Registration: Users can register domain names through ISPs.

・Equipment Rental: ISPs will rent out equipment such as modems and routers to reduce user costs.

・Technical Support: ISPs offer troubleshooting and other customer services to their subscribers.