ISP - Internet Service Provider
ISP or Internet Service Provider is a term that refers to a company or organization that provides businesses and residents access to the Internet. Run by either local telephone companies or independent organizations, Internet Service Providers (ISPs or IAPs - Internet Access Provider) frequently offer a variety of Internet access methods, such as DSL, cable, satellite, fiber optics, as well as other related services. VoIP (Voice over IP) and cable TV are examples of other Internet-related services offered by Internet Service Providers.
History of Internet Service Providers
In the second half of the 20th century, the need arose for host computers to communicate with a variety of multiple packet networks across the globe regardless of the existing underlying network technology. As a result in the 1980s, the Internet began to emerge as the transition from NCP to TCP occurred. This transition inspired Internet Service Providers to convene and offer highly sought after Internet services on a commercial level. The birth of the Commercial Internet Exchange occurred with the hopes of offering unrestricted Internet service across the board. Both non-profit and commercial ISPs made the decision to coordinate efforts, creating the breadth of services offered by ISPs globally.
The United States Internet Service Providers Association is a group that was established as a forum and sounding board for legal issues and policy debates. Members of the Internet Service Providers Association include AOL, AT&T, BellSouth, EarthLink, Microsoft, SAWIS, United Online, Verizon Online, and Yahoo!