Internet Service Provider - ISP

Definition of 'Internet Service Provider - ISP'


A company that provides access to the Internet to subscriber-based customers. An Internet Service Provider offers dial-up, cable, DSL (digital subscriber line), fiber optic or other types of Internet access. Local Internet Service Providers serve customers in a limited region, such as the Southeastern United States, while national providers serve customers throughout the country.

Investopedia explains 'Internet Service Provider - ISP'


Dial-up Internet access is the slowest type of Internet connectivity offered by ISPs. Cable, DSL and satellite Internet access typically provide much greater speeds than dial-up. Depending on the customer's geographical location, the types of access offered by Internet Service Providers may be limited. Rural areas, for example, may only have access to dial-up connections.

Before the advent of Internet Service Providers, access to the Internet was limited to those who had an account at a participating university or government agency. During the mid-1990s, the number of Internet Service Providers increased to several thousand. Many of these ISPs were small companies that leased Internet services from one of the larger ISP companies and then resold the service to area customers and businesses. In the late 1990s, many of the ISPs and telephone companies began consolidating.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Marginal Analysis

    An examination of the additional benefits of an activity compared to the additional costs of that activity. Companies use marginal analysis as a decision-making tool to help them maximize their profits. Individuals unconsciously use marginal analysis to make a host of everyday decisions. Marginal analysis is also widely used in microeconomics when analyzing how a complex system is affected by marginal manipulation of its comprising variables.
  2. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities - TIPS

    A treasury security that is indexed to inflation in order to protect investors from the negative effects of inflation. TIPS are considered an extremely low-risk investment since they are backed by the U.S. government and since their par value rises with inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, while their interest rate remains fixed.
  3. Gilt-Edged Switching

    The selling and repurchasing of certain high-grade stocks or bonds to capture profits. Gilt-edged switching involves gilt-edged security, which can be high-grade stock or bond issued by a financially stable company such as the Blue Chip companies or by certain governments.
  4. Master Limited Partnership - MLP

    A type of limited partnership that is publicly traded. There are two types of partners in this type of partnership: The limited partner is the person or group that provides the capital to the MLP and receives periodic income distributions from the MLP's cash flow, whereas the general partner is the party responsible for managing the MLP's affairs and receives compensation that is linked to the performance of the venture.
  5. Class Action

    An action where an individual represents a group in a court claim. The judgment from the suit is for all the members of the group (class).
  6. Retail Sales

    An aggregated measure of the sales of retail goods over a stated time period, typically based on a data sampling that is extrapolated to model an entire country. In the U.S., the retail sales report is a monthly economic indicator compiled and released by the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce.
Trading Center