An ISP, which stands for Internet Service Provider, is a company that provides its subscribers with access to the internet in exchange for a monthly or yearly subscription fee.
An ISP can provide different types of internet access. It could be something as basic as a dial-up service to faster internet connection options like DSL, cable and other broadband connections. There are some ISPs that operate on a local level – servicing just a small community or a small area of coverage or geographical region. There are also some that operate on a national level, which provides access to a whole country.
When a person shops around for an ISP the first thing that he will usually consider is the type of access each ISP will provide. As mentioned above, there are some ISPs that will only offer the slowest connection, which is dial-up. There are also ISPs that also provide local cable TV service as a bundle to their internet connection – these are companies that offer a cable internet connection. DSL service is also a popular option especially since it can also be bundled with a phone service because DSL runs through the same telephone line.