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Internet Service Providers (ISPs)  ***Draft only***

What is an ISP?

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) arrange (and charge for) the delivery of connections from users (such as you) to the Internet at large (websites, search engines, email managers etc.). We can consider a connection as having three parts:

1. The user end

It many cases it is BT's "Openreach" division who often provide the physical "pathway" between the user's premises and the ISPs own equipment, charging the ISP a "wholesale" price for providing many such connections.

2 The ISP's bit

Equipment doing such things as monitoring traffic (e.g. to see if you exceed your quotas) and possibly "traffic shaping" (varying priorities according to the perceived importance of different material).

3. Onward connection

Passing all your and other users traffic to or from the Internet at large, usually through very high speed links.

What else do ISPs do?

ISPs often offer their own add ons such as email handling and "portal" pages. But perhaps you don't need either. Consider the following: 

Most ISPs will also arrange and charge for the provision of telephone lines and normal phone services - voice calls, caller display, "answering machine" services etc. Going to a single "phone and Internet" supplier may be the cheapest approach and keeps life simpler.