Network service provider

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Network Service Provider (NSP) is one of the roles defined in the National Information Infrastructure (NII) plan, which governed the transition of the Internet from US federal control to private-sector governance, with an accompanying shift from the 1968-1992 single-payer economy to a competitive market economy. The plan envisioned Network Service Providers as a wholesale layer, moving Internet bandwidth produced at Network Access Points (subsequently called "Internet exchange points") to Internet Service Providers, who would in turn sell it to end-user enterprises, or on to Internet Access Providers (IAPs) who would sell it to individual end-users in their homes. In fact, the original Network Service Providers quickly vertically integrated with Internet Service Providers and Internet Access Providers, through the mid-1990s, creating conglomerates and reducing competition.[1]

Now, the term may refer to telecommunications companies, data carriers, wireless communications providers, Internet service providers, and cable television operators offering Internet access.

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