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Introduction to the ISP Market

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If you or your company are considering entering the ISP arena, keep informed and read about current market trends, some market data resources, and key challenges that you may face.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

This chapter provides an introduction to Internet service providers (ISPs), briefly describes market trends, provides market data resources, offers considerations for entering the market, and describes challenges. This chapter contains the following topics:

  • "Defining an ISP and Its Architecture" on page 2

  • "Identifying Market Trends" on page 2

  • "Obtaining Market Data" on page 6

  • "Challenges in Becoming an ISP" on page 6

For information about the purpose, scope, and audience of this book, refer to the Preface. Also, for an introduction to our sample customer FijiNet, used throughout this book, refer to the Preface.

Defining an ISP and Its Architecture

An ISP provides Internet services to business and residential subscribers, also referred to as users. ISPs provide basic services such as email, web hosting, and news. Also, ISPs offer value-added services such as calendars, address books, search engines, chat rooms, instant messages, etc.

An ISP architect defines the overall structure, called the architecture, that sets forth structuring principles and patterns for an ISP's infrastructure, services, network, customer care system, and so on.

The architecture sets system-wide constraints that must be adhered to by each portion of the subsequent design. Within the architecture, the architect identifies major components and their interrelationships. An ISP architect defines how:

  • Overall processing should be decomposed into components

  • Major components should be organized and well integrated

Developing an ISP architecture is important because it becomes the fundamental organization of a system embodied in its components, their relationships to each other and to the environment, and the principles guiding an architecture's design and evolution.

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