Internet service provider
- Date Found: Unknown
- Used By: Everyone, including you
In many countries and with many companies a user pays a flat fee for a reasonable amount of internet usage. In some countries and/or with some companies the user pays a fee depending on how long he/she has been using the internet or for how much bandwidth he/she is using.
AOL was the first very popular American ISP. It lead to the beginning of the "Eternal September" on Usenet and was known for having lots of newbies. Now AOL is far less popular than it used to be. Many major American ISPs (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon) are also telephone, satellite, and/or cable companies. In the UK the first commercial ISP was Pipex.
Typically ISPs provide users with software (special programs used by the ISP) and hardware (hardware including routers and/or DSL filters) - In the case of dialup users the ISP gives the user the relevant phone numbers needed (the phone number you use depends on your geographical location - use the wrong phone number and your phone bills go sky high!) - Even people who use DSL and satellite are permitted to use dialup in case their primary internet connections go haywire. Also, many ISPs provide their internet users with POP e-mail accounts.
It's common to see complaints with ISPs. I.E. people disparaged AOL by calling it "AOHell"
Usually you see "ISP" used when referring to an internet service provider company. See the example sentence. It is used by everybody, from the corporate media to the cute girl you see at Starbucks or Second Cup every day.
- Tiscali is my favorite British ISP