A network service is a business entity that provides or sells services such as network access and bandwidth by allowing access into its backbone infrastructure or access to its network access points (NAP),
which consequently also means access to the Internet. Network service providers are very similar to or can even be considered the same as Internet service providers (ISPs), but in most cases they are the ones providing backbone services to the ISPs.
An ISP can purchase a wholesale dial access service from an NSP, which provides dialup connectivity for their customers. Customers then dial into their ISP's network using a local access number, which in turn connects to the backbone of that Internet provider's NSP.
The NSP routes all traffic and basically provides the infrastructure needed for Internet connectivity. The NSP builds, maintains, and expands their infrastructure as Internet traffic demands. The ISP is responsible for its own network, sales and marketing, and customer service.
An ISP can also purchase other services from an NSP that they in turn provide their customers such as e-mail service, Web-based e-mail service, personal Web hosting, chat, discussion groups, and other end-user applications. All these services are provided under the ISP's brand name rather than that of the NSP.
NSPs build and maintain the primary infrastructure of the Internet. This includes fiber optic lines between hubs or "Internet exchanges" that route Internet traffic around the world. These communication lines offer extremely high bandwidth of hundreds or even thousands of gigabits per second. The global network created by multiple NSPs enables data to flow seamlessly between computer systems around the world.
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