How It Works: Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

An internet service provider (ISP) is an organization that provides services for accessing, using, and/or participating in the Internet. Internet service providers may be non-profit, private, community, or commercially owned organizations. ISPs are capable of domain name registration, web hosting, colocation (storage services), as well as internet transit and access. ISPs can also be known as IAPs (Internet Access Providers). ISPs support one or more forms of Internet access, from traditional modem dial-up to DSL and cable modem broadband service to dedicated T1/T3 lines.

If the internet was a class, and the students were the customers, the internet service provider would be the school sponsoring the class.

Types of ISPs

Top Four Internet Service Providers

  1. Comcast:
  2. Verizon:
  3. Cox:
  4. AT&T:
  5. Link to Source

Internet Service Provider Interaction

Internet Speed (Connection Types)

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and mode of communication. There has been extensive debate about whether net neutrality should be required by law, particularly in the United States. Debate over the issue of net neutrality predates the coining of the term. The term was coined by Columbia media law professor Tim Wu in 2003. Opponents of net neutrality claim that broadband service providers have no plans to block content or degrade network performance. Despite this claim, there has been a single case where an Internet service provider, Comcast, intentionally slowed peer-to-peer (P2P) communications.