Internet service providers, in Ontario, are the companies that provide access to the Internet. ISPs may have three categories depending on the nature of their job – Access ISPs, Hosting ISPs & transit ISPs.
The connection of the customer to the Internet by means of copper, fiber or wireless connections is established by the Access ISPs. Leasing server space for small business units & hosting public servers are the functions of Hosting ISPs. While providing large tubes for connecting the Access ISPs to the Hosting ISPs is the job of the Transit ISPs.
Access ISPs provide a number of connections to typical home users in Ontario - Broadband wireless access, Cable Internet, Dial-up, Integrated Services Digital Network, Modem, Digital Subscriber Line, Fiber To The Home, Wi-Fi and for typical business users- DSL, Ethernet technologies, Leased line, Single-pair High-speed DSL.
Hosting ISPs usually provide email, File Transfer Protocol, web-hosting services, virtual machines, clouds, or entire physical servers to run the custom software.
Transit ISPs transmit data to or from areas in the web by establishing connections between upstream & downstream ISPs
Several ISPs join at peering points or Internet exchange points (IXs),to allow routing of data between the networks, without charging any of the individual networks for the data transmission.
There are 2 derivatives of the 3 core ISP types already mentioned, namely VISP & Free ISP.
A Virtual ISP (VISP) is the operation of purchasing services from another ISP; while, free ISPs, also called freenets, provide free of charge services and are generally run by volunteers in a profit-less manner.