Internet Service Providers

The term Internet service provider (ISP) encompasses all public and private organizations that provide any kind of services over the Internet. Usually, the term is associated with the telecommunications operators that provide wired or wireless connection to the Internet. More precisely, these should be called Internet access providers (IAPs), but actually, the range of services provided by early IAPs increased considerably over time, well beyond baseband or broadband connectivity. The mix of services provided may differ greatly from one ISP to another, but the common feature is that the Internet works as the enabling infrastructure. ISPs gained a relevant economic and social role in the past decades by being innovation enablers and helping overcome the digital divide. This entry briefly introduces the history of ISPs, ...

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