The Three Tiers of ISPs: What They Mean & Why They’re Important

Has this ever happened to you?  You're talking about the internet with your techy friends and you realize: a) “I don’t know what tiered ISPs are,” and b) “I don’t really know how the internet is structured.” Well, it isn’t just “a series of tubes” as one politician put it. No, a hierarchy of infrastructure exists, which many different commercial, community-owned, non-profit, and privately-owned organizations control. Think of the vast, interconnected highway system that connects cities large and small across the United States. That complexity is similar to the information highway that makes up the backbone of the internet, except [...]