The Internet has grown beyond a simple tool for a small number of education and government agencies over the last few years. The commercialization of the Internet has opened a brand new market for small, medium and large commercial bodies to provide access to this huge network of opportunity for business and home users alike.
These companies are the sole providers of access to the ‘Information Super-Highway’ and it is therefore important to analyse how they have managed to survive in the past as well as their current and future success. The basis of this dissertation has concentrated mainly on the small to medium sized ISP providing services to the local business community and tends to concentrate on the issues involved here. It is important to look into periods of the past few years and how ISPs have developed into the providers that are common on the market place today. Through analysing the changes that ISPs have faced in the past, this will give a better gauge as to where the ISP needs to look to for future opportunities and more importantly, future survival.
Competition has increased greatly within the last few years in the ISP industry as larger industry players have entered the market undercutting prices of many of the services that smaller to medium sized business have offered. However at the same time the dissertation examines how these larger industries have actually helped the smaller business through outsourcing and reseller affiliation programs.
The dissertation is broken down into the following areas, which have been researched and analyzed in order to give a clear understanding of the implications:
This section has examined the history of both the Internet and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) along with how they have evolved through the changes of the Internet.
Diversification and change are important factors that have been addressed here which have meant the evolution of newer services such as e-commerce within the industry. The ISP constantly needs to diversify into new areas of service as competition within the industry raises the threats to these smaller companies.
How secure is the small to medium sized ISP? Through outsourcing to larger Network Providers and ensuring the most secure products to their end customers by reseller solutions, the ISP needs to keep ahead of all security issues.
By analyzing a real local Northern Ireland small Internet company, it gives a greater perspective on the standing of these companies in today’s competitive industry.
How ISPs will survive in the new millennium through continuous change and diversification, monitoring for all the new opportunities on the horizon.