As the name suggest, an Internet Service Provider (ISP)
is an organization that offer services that let you gain access to the Internet
and let you use it. Such service providers are organized in different forms
like commercial or profitable, non-profit, community owned or privately-owned.
To provide Internet access, ISPs employ various mediums
and technologies to connect end users to their network. Some of the
mediums/technologies available in the market for connecting users to network
include modem acoustic coupler; telephone lines; television cable; wireless
fidelity, wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) and fiber optics.
The traditional options for connecting individual systems
and small businesses to the network are copper wires for dial-up, Digital
(DSL), Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), modem and Integrated Services
Digital Network (ISDN).
To provide Internet access to customers with more
demanding needs, like medium to large enterprises or other ISPs, service
providers use hi-speed DSL, Ethernet, Frame Relay, ISDN Primary Rate Interface
(ISDN-PRI), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Synchronous Optical
Networking. For such enterprises, service providers can also consider wireless
access, including satellite internet access as another option.
In addition to providing Internet access, Internet
Service Providers offer services like, but not restricted to, Internet transit,
domain name registration and web hosting.
If we consider the ISPs in India, we will observe that
the competitive spirit of ISPs not only made Internet accessible to more
people, but it also brought down the cost Internet connection. They have helped
India connect with the rest of the world. Thanks to IP connectivity, the BPOs
and Call Centers in India have their
presence felt across the globe. If we talk about the number of Internet users,
India ranks amongst the top 10 countries of the world.