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How do individuals connect to the Internet?

Routers allow multiple networks to connect to the Internet, but how do individual computers connect?

A company that provides Internet access is known as an Internet Service Provider (ISP). They will charge for

  1. using the internet
  2. a physical connection to the Internet (a separate dedicated connection between a site and an ISP).

ISPs face conflicting goals: trying to create a technology that performs well (so customers don't have to wait) but at low cost.

Last Mile Problem: the final leg of delivering connectivity from an ISP to a customer. It is typically seen as expensive because ``fanning out'' wires and cable is a considerable physical undertaking.


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``CMPT 165: Review'' by Tamara Smyth, Computing Science, Simon Fraser University.
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Copyright © 2011-12-05 by Tamara Smyth.
Please email errata, comments, and suggestions to Tamara Smyth<tamaras@cs.sfu.ca>
School of Computing Science,   Simon Fraser University