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What Is a Network Service Provider?

Cat5 cable, which is used with networks.
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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2014
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In computing, a network service provider (NSP) is a company that provides network connectivity to commercial Internet service providers (ISP) and large organizations. The NSP provides the backbone of the large network clouds used across the world. This backbone makes it possible for an individual to connect to a local ISP and also communicate to groups on other ISPs throughout the world.

The computer network is an advanced set of telecommunication devices used by multiple computers. This is similar to the telephone network used by consumers for phone service. The network service provider is responsible for connecting separate computer networks into a global network backbone.

The backbone of the computer network is the main interchange point for connecting multiple networks. This backbone is managed by the NSP and provides global connectivity. These providers are responsible to make sure the network is reliable and performs well. This reliability is critical for telecommunication companies that sell network connectivity to consumers.

The Internet is vast array of networks that are connected using a special Internet protocol (IP). These networks use the existing telecommunications infrastructure that has been available for many decades throughout the world. The network service provider has enable access to multiple Internet service providers by providing the connection point to the telecommunication backbone.

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Most large companies require telecommunication services for phones, email services, and computer connectivity for employees. The network service provider sells this service to large organizations at discount pricing. Some examples of network service providers include Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

Network technology has expanded to include cable, satellite, mobile cell, and standard internet protocol. Most network service providers are expanding into all areas of telecommunication. This has created one-stop shopping for customers, which allows for entertainment, phone, and computer networks to be managed by one company.

The network service provider (NSP) sells telecommunication services based on network traffic and volume. This is known as a bandwidth requirement for the network connection. A streaming video on the Internet has significant bandwidth requirements. This bandwidth is provided by the NSP to the ISP for consumer use.

Network bandwidth is typically sold at specific size increments. Larger blocks are sold to an ISP at discounted prices because they require more overall usage. The Internet service provider makes revenue by charging customers additional mark-up fees for this bandwidth capacity.

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