Cybertelecom
Cybertelecom
Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project
Industry: ISPs Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY
ISP Trade
  Associations
Books
Backbones

Broadband

ISPs
ISP & Filters
ISPs & DMCA
Wireless ISPs
SPAM Enforcement

"An ISP, or internet service provider, is a company that provides its customers access to the internet and other web services. In addition to maintaining a direct line to the internet, the company usually maintains web servers. By supplying necessary software, a password-protected user account, and a phone number to dial into the internet connection, ISPs offer their customers the capability to browse the web and exchange email with other people. Some ISPs also offer additional services. ISPs can vary in size—some are operated by one individual, while others are large corporations. They may also vary in scope—some only support users in a particular city, while others have regional or national capabilities.

"Almost all ISPs offer email and web browsing capabilities. They also offer varying degrees of user support, usually in the form of an email address or customer support hotline. Most ISPs also offer web hosting capabilities, allowing users to create and maintain personal web pages; and some may even offer the service of developing the pages for you. Many ISPs offer the option of high-speed access through DSL or cable modems, while others may just rely on dial-up connections. As part of normal operation, most ISPs perform backups of email and web files. If the ability to recover email and web files is important to you, check with your ISP to see if they back up the data; it might not be advertised as a service. Additionally, some ISPs may implement firewalls to block some incoming traffic, although you should consider this a supplement to your own security precautions, not a replacement." - US CERT

See Open Internet Definition of BIAS Provider

ISP Related Issues

Definition

See Definition Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS)

Access Provider

Access providers, more commonly known as Internet service providers, combine computer processing, information storage, protocol conversion, and routing with transmission to enable users to access Internet content and services.[125] Major Internet access providers include America Online, AT&T WorldNet, Netcom, Earthlink, and the Microsoft Network.

[FN 125 Access services, as we describe them here, are similar to the "conduit services" we defined in the Universal Service Order. We used "conduit services," which is not a statutorily-defined term, to describe those services eligible for reimbursement as forms of "access to advanced information services" for schools, libraries, and rural health care providers. As examples of such services, we cross-referenced language from section 274 of the Act concerning electronic publishing. See Universal Service Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 9012-13, paras. 443-44. We stated, however, that "our use of section 274 should not imply anything about the classification of services in other contexts." Id., 12 FCC Rcd at 9013 n.159, para. 444. Despite this admonition, our use of language referring to services that are not electronic publishing under section 274 may have caused some confusion. We emphasize that our intent was only to give examples of eligible services, not to somehow shift the legal classification of Internet access.]

--In re Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report to Congress, FCC 98-67 ¶ 63 (April 10, 1998).

Internet Access Provider

(11) INTERNET ACCESS SERVICE- The term `Internet access service' has the meaning given that term in section 231(e)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 231(e)(4)). CAN SPAM Act Sec. 3(10)

The term "Internet access service" means a service that enables users to access content, information, electronic mail, and other services offered over the Internet, and may also include access to proprietary content, information, and other services as part of a package of services offered to consumers. Such term does not include telecommunications services. 47 U.S.C. § 231(e)(4).

Internet Tax Freedom Act Sec. 1101(d)(3)(D) "Internet access service.-The term 'Internet access service' means a service that enables users to access content, information, electronic mail, or other services offered over the Internet and may also include access to proprietary content, information, and other services as part of a package of services offered to consumers. The term 'Internet access service' does not include telecommunications services, except to the extent such services are purchased, used, or sold by a provider of Internet access to provide Internet access.

Internet access provider.-The term 'Internet access provider' means a person engaged in the business of providing a computer and communications facility through which a customer may obtain access to the Internet, but does not include a common carrier to the extent that it provides only telecommunications services.  Internet Tax Freedom Act Sec. 1101(e)(2)(A).

Internet access services.-The term 'Internet access services' means the provision of computer and communications services through which a customer using a computer and a modem or other communications device may obtain access to the Internet, but does not include telecommunications services provided by a common carrier.   Internet Tax Freedom Act Sec. 1101(e)(2)(B).

The term "Internet access" means a service that enables users to access content, information, electronic mail, and other services offered over the Internet, and may also include access to proprietary content, information, and other services as part of a package of services offered to consumers. Such term does not include telecommunications services.   Internet Tax Freedom Act Sec. 1104(5).

"The section defines 'Internet access' as a service that enables users to access content, information, and other services offered over the Internet, but does not mean a telecommunications service. By including the phrase, "but does not mean a telecommunications service," the Committee intends to clarify that nothing in this section is meant to limit the FCC's or a State commission's ability to regulate basic telecommunications services. This section also reserves authority for the FCC and State commissions to regulate telecommunications carriers that offer telecommunications services bundled with Internet access or online services. Internet access and online services are both considered 'information services' under the FCC's existing interpretations of the Communications Act."  -- The Internet Tax Freedom Act,  H.R. Report. 105-570(I)


(5) Internet access.-The term 'Internet access'-

"(A) means a service that enables users to connect to the Internet to access content, information, or other services offered over the Internet;

"(B) includes the purchase, use or sale of telecommunications by a provider of a service described in subparagraph (A) to the extent such telecommunications are purchased, used or sold-

"(i) to provide such service; or

"(ii) to otherwise enable users to access content, information or other services offered over the Internet;

"(C) includes services that are incidental to the provision of the service described in subparagraph (A) when furnished to users as part of such service, such as a home page, electronic mail and instant messaging (including voice- and video-capable electronic mail and instant messaging), video clips, and personal electronic storage capacity;

"(D) does not include voice, audio or video programming, or other products and services (except services described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (E)) that utilize Internet protocol or any successor protocol and for which there is a charge, regardless of whether such charge is separately stated or aggregated with the charge for services described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (E); and

"(E) includes a homepage, electronic mail and instant messaging (including voice- and video-capable electronic mail and instant messaging), video clips, and personal electronic storage capacity, that are provided independently or not packaged with Internet access.

 Internet Tax Freedom Act Sec. 1105(5)


 

It found that the 1996 Act's definition of telecommunications, which "only includes transmissions that do not alter the form or content of the information sent," excludes Internet access services, which "alter the format of information through computer processing applications such as protocol conversion and interaction with stored data."53

52 Universal Service Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 9179-80, paras. 788-89.
53 Id. at 9180, para. 789.  The Commission also noted that section 254(h)(2)(A) calls on it to enhance "access to advanced telecommunications and information services," and concluded that the phrase would be redundant if "information services were a subset of advanced telecommunications."  Id.

-- In re Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report to Congress, FCC 98-67 ¶ 33 (April 10, 1998) (emphasis added).



'Internet access, like all information services, is provided "via telecommunications."' -- In re Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report to Congress, FCC 98-67 ¶ 68 (April 10, 1998).


"With respect to the provision of pure transmission capacity to Internet service providers or Internet backbone providers, we have concluded that such provision is telecommunications" In re Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report to Congress, FCC 98-67 ¶ 101 (April 10, 1998)


The office of Senator Stevens asserts that information services are inherently telecommunications services because information services are offered via "telecommunications."   We observe that ISPs alter the format of  information through computer processing applications such as protocol conversion and interaction with stored data, while the statutory definition of telecommunications only includes transmissions that do not alter the form or content of the information sent. When a subscriber obtains a connection to an Internet service provider via voice grade access to the public switched network, that connection is a telecommunications service and is distinguishable from the Internet service provider's service offering.  The language in section 254(h)(2) also indicates that information services are not inherently telecommunications services. Section 254(h)(2) states that the Commission must enhance access to advanced telecommunications and information services.  If information services were a subset of advanced telecommunications, it would be repetitive to list specifically information services in that subsection.
--Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, CC Docket No. 96-45, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 8776. ¶ 789 (1997) (Universal Service Order), as corrected by Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Errata, CC Docket No. 96-45, FCC 97-157 (rel. June 4, 1997), appeal pending in Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel v. FCC and USA, No. 97-60421 (5th Cir. 1997) | Word Perfect | Adobe | Zip |

47 CFR § 54.5

Internet access. "Internet access" includes the following elements:

(1) The transmission of information as common carriage;

(2) The transmission of information as part of a gateway to an information service, when that transmission does not involve the generation or alteration of the content of information, but may include data transmission, address translation, protocol conversion, billing management, introductory information content, and navigational systems that enable users to access information services, and that do not affect the presentation of such information to users; and

(3) Electronic mail services (e-mail).

Internet Service Provider

Internet service providers (ISPs), in turn, link those calls to the Internet network, not only by providing a physical connection, but also by offering consumers the ability to translate raw Internet data into information they may both view on their personal computers and transmit to other computers connected to the Internet. See In re Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, 13 FCC Rcd. 11501, 11531, ¶ 63 (1998) (hereinafter Universal Service Report); P. Huber, M. Kellogg, & J. Thorne, Federal Telecommunications Law 988 (2d ed. 1999) (hereinafter Huber); 345 F. 3d, at 1123–1124.

NCTA v. BrandX, No. 04-277, slip at 2 (S.Ct. June 27, 2005) (notice that the lower court got the definition of an ISP much better)


Approximately 80 percent of those connections are "dial-up" connections. Such connections use the wires owned by local telephone companies to connect the user's computer to an Internet Service Provider's ("ISP's") "point of presence," which in turn is connected to the Internet "backbone." In addition to providing a connection to the Internet, most ISPs also provide services - including email, user support, and the ability to build web pages on the ISP's servers - as well as proprietary content. Customers connecting to the Internet via a traditional narrowband connection have many ISPs to choose from: There are thousands of such providers nationwide. But because of the limitations of the wires connecting the user's computer to the ISP's point of presence, data transmission over them is quite slow and does not afford users the capacity to access streaming video or audio content.
-- BrandX v FCC, Sec. I, 9th Cir 10/6/2003



34. An ISP is an entity that provides its customers with the ability to obtain a variety of on-line information through the Internet. However, ISPs typically own no telecommunications facilities. In order to provide those components of Internet access services that involve information transport, ISPs lease lines, and otherwise acquire telecommunications, from telecommunications providers -- LECs, CLECs, IXCs and others.74 ISP's purchase use of analog and digital lines from LECs to connect to their dial-in subscribers. Under one typical arrangement, an ISP customer dials a seven-digit number to reach the ISP server in the same local calling area. To provide transport within its network, the ISP may purchase interexchange telecommunications services from telecommunications carriers, and for transport beyond its network, the ISP either purchases additional interexchange telecommunications from telecommunications carriers, or makes arrangements to interconnect its leased facilities with one or more Internet backbone providers.75 Thus, the information service is provisioned by the ISP "via telecommunications" including interexchange telecommunications although the Internet service itself is an "information service" under section 3(2) of the Act, rather than a telecommunications service.76

74. See Federal - State Joint Board on Universal Service, CC Docket No. 96-45, > Report to Congress, 13 FCC Rcd at 11540, P 81 (1998)(hereinafter SS7FUniversal Service Report to Congress").
75. Id. at 13 FCC Rcd 11532-11533, P 66.
76. Id. at 11536, P73. In fact, a service would not satisfy the definition of "information service" unless it had an underlying "telecommunications" component. Further, the telecommunications inputs underlying Internet services are subject to the universal service contribution mechanism. As the Commission has previously explained, "Companies that are in the business of offering basic interstate telecommunications functionality to end users are 'telecommunications carriers," and therefore are covered under the relevant provisions of > sections 251 and > 254 of the Act. Id. at P105

Deployment of Wireline Services Offiering Advanced Telecommunications Capability, CC Docket No 98-147, Order on Remand, 15 FCC Rcd 385, ¶ 34 (1999).



An ISP is an entity that provides its customers the ability to obtain on-line information through the Internet. ISPs purchase analog and digital lines from local exchange carriers to connect to their dial-in subscribers.[6] Under one typical arrangement, an ISP customer dials a seven-digit number to reach the ISP server in the same local calling area. The ISP, in turn, combines "computer processing, information storage, protocol conversion, and routing with transmission to enable users to access Internet content and services."[7] Under this arrangement, the end user generally pays the LEC a flat monthly fee for use of the local exchange network and generally pays the ISP a flat, monthly fee for Internet access.[8] The ISP typically purchases business lines from a LEC, for which it pays a flat monthly fee that allows unlimited incoming calls.

[6] Id. at 11532.
[7] Id. at 11531.
[8] The Commission has acknowledged the significance of end users being able to place local, rather than toll, calls to ISPs, in analyzing, among other things, universal service issues. See, e.g., Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 8776, 9142-43, 9159, 9160 (1997) (Universal Service Order); Universal Service Report to Congress, 13 FCC Rcd at 11541-42.

----In Re Implementation of the Local Competition Provisions in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Inter-Carrier Compensation for ISP-Bound Traffic, CC Docket No. 96-98, CC Docket No. 99-68, Declaratory Ruling ¶ 4 (February 26, 1999)



An ISP is an entity that provides its customers the ability to obtain on-line information through the Internet. ISPs purchase analog and digital lines from local exchange carriers to connect to their dial-in subscribers.[11] Under one typical arrangement, an ISP customer dials a seven-digit number to reach the ISP server in the same local calling area. The ISP, in turn, combines "computer processing, information storage, protocol conversion, and routing with transmission to enable users to access Internet content and services."[12] Under this arrangement, the end user generally pays the LEC a flat monthly fee for use of the local exchange network[13] and generally pays the ISP a flat, monthly fee for Internet access. The ISP typically purchases business lines from a LEC, for which it pays a flat monthly fee which allows unlimited incoming calls.
[11] Id. at 11532.
[12] Id. at 11531.
[13] Such fees include charges for both intrastate and interstate usage of the local exchange network.
-- In Re GTE Telephone Operators GTOC Tariff No. 1 GTE Transmittal No. 1148, Memorandum Opinion And Order, CC Docket No. 98-79 ¶ 6 (October 30, 1998), recon. denied (February 26, 1999).


."ISPs allow end users to access Internet backbone networks." -- In re Application of WorldCom, Inc. and MCI Communications Corporation for Transfer of Control of MCI Communications Corporation to WorldCom, Inc., Report and Order, CC Docket No. 97-211 ¶ 143 (September 14, 1998)


"Access providers, more commonly known as Internet service providers, combine computer processing, information storage, protocol conversion, and routing with transmission to enable users to access Internet content and services.  Major Internet access providers include America Online, AT&T WorldNet, Netcom, Earthlink, and the Microsoft Network."
-- In the Matter of Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Report to Congress, CC Docket No. 96-45, para 63 (April 10, 1998)

Internet Service Provider: "An organization which offers Internet IP connectivity services to customers. " Service Provider Interconnection for Internet Protocol Best Effort Service, Network Reliability and Interoperability Council V, Focus Group 4: Interoperability, Sec. 1.2.2

Security

Papers

Statistics

Percent of residential customers Percent of nonresidential customers
AOL 22.9 SoVerNet 14.4
SoVerNet 11.8 Adelphia Cable 12.8
Adelphia Cable 11.5 AOL 11.5
Earthlink 8.4 Earthlink 8.8
United Online 5.0 Verizon 6.2
Power Shift Online 4.2 VTel Internet 4.6
VTel Internet 4.2 Green Mountain Access 4.3
Verizon 3.8 Vermont Link.Net 3.3
Green Mountain Access 3.8 Global.net 2.6
AT&T 2.3 Lightship 2.6
Global.net 2.3 Charter 2.3
Innevi 1.9 Power Shift Online 2.3
MSN 1.9 Valley Net 2.3
Kingdom Connection 1.5 Kingdom Connection 1.6
Charter 1.1 ABS/Telcove 1.6
GovNet 0.8 United Online 1.6

Vermont Telecommunications Plan, Sept 2004 p. 2-26

  • StatMarket: AOL still the world's favorite ISP March 14 2002
  • US Census: Internet Service Providers, Web Search Portals, and Data Processing Services: 2002 (Nov. 2004)
  • Online Service Providers 2002: 4394 (Table 2)
  • Online Service Providers 1997: 4165
  • 98. Internet Service Providers: Under the new NAICS codes, SBA has developed a small business size standard for "On-line Information Services," NAICS Code 514191.   According to SBA regulations, a small business under this category is one having annual receipts of $18 million or less.  According to SBA's most recent data, there are a total of 2,829 firms with annual receipts of $9,999,999 or less, and an additional 111 firms with annual receipts of $10,000,000 or more.   Thus, the number of On-line Information Services firms that are small under the SBA's $18 million size standard is between 2,829 and 2,940.  Further, some of these Internet Service Providers (ISPs) might not be independently owned and operated. Consequently, we estimate that there are fewer than 2,940 small entity ISPs that may be affected by the decisions and rules of the present action. -- In Re Appropriate Framework for Broadband Access to the Internet over Wireline Facilities, CC Docket No. 02-33, CC Dockets Nos. 95-20, 98-10, NPRM ¶ 98 (February 15, 2002) (based on 1997 census data)
  • AOL subscriptions swell in U.S., CNews 11/27/01
  • Top ISPs Report, NWFusion 11/23/01
  • Top U.S. ISPs by Subscriber: Q3 2001, ISP Planet11/02/01 (note that in August, ISP-Planet reported that the top 20 ISPs account for 90% of the market where ISP-Planet is in November saying that the top 20 ISPs only account for 60% of the market).
  • Top U.S. ISPs by Subscriber: Q2 2001, ISP Planet 8/17/01

Internet Trade Associations

 

Website no longer found or is stale

News & Blogs

© Cybertelecom ::