Internet Service Provider (ISP)

An Internet service provider (ISP) provides the link between a personal computer and the Internet. It also supplies other related services to individuals, organizations, and companies including, but not limited to, e-mail, virtual hosting, and Web site construction. An ISP has the equipment, registrations, and telecommunication access necessary to be a point of presence on the Internet for the geographic area served. Larger ISPs often provide multiple Internet access methods distinguished by speed, cost, and cabling, including dial-up, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), cable modem, ISDN, T-1, and T-3.

The term ISP is sometimes used interchangeably with OSP (online service provider). However, an OSP provides extensive content, a large menu of online services, and often its own browser. AOL (America Online) is an example of an OSP, ...

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