How Many ISPs Are There in the World?

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Over 66,000 ISPs are operating worldwide. This number includes both large multinational corporations and small local providers. In the United States alone, there are currently 2,969 ISPs, which include DSL, copper, mobile broadband, and LTE providers.

What is Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) refers to an organization that provides access to the Internet to personal and business clients. ISPs make it possible for their customers to navigate the internet, shop online, conduct business, and connect with their loved ones, for a fee. Some ISPs offer additional services, such as email, web hosting, and domain registration. These organizations are considered information service providers, storage service providers, internet network service providers (INSP), or a combination of all three, depending on the services they offer.

Initially, only government agencies and specific university departments had access to the Internet, but the technology was developed for the general public in the late 1980s. Since then, the use of the internet has evolved, with nearly everyone having access to it, whether it’s provided for free or through paid services. ISPs have also evolved, with Tier 1 ISPs operating like monopolies in their respective regions due to their massive investments in costly infrastructures, such as fiber optic cables.

Evolution of ISPs: From Dial-Up to Broadband

Language links and the title can be found at the top of the Wikipedia page, from which online access via a landline phone to an ISP through the PSTN was made possible. Dial-up internet access facilitated data transfer between modems over telephone lines, which was first offered publicly by universities in the 1980s. Commercial providers like Pipex in the UK and UUNET in the US brought the service to the masses during the 1990s.

Despite the limitations of needing a telephone line, a potential speed of 21.6 kbps the requirement to pay for phone calls, and limited connection time; it remained popular in rural areas without other options and as an alternative to the expensive broadband deals offered. The advent of DSL and cable broadband during the 1990s led to the decline of dial-up internet access and greater accessibility of wider bandwidth.

 ISPs developed from connecting university computers via phones, to offering faster and more reliable internet services to billions worldwide, as well as being essential to the development of worldwide commerce.

Different Types of ISPs

There are over 100 internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK alone, offering a variety of deals and packages. ISPs connect personal or business devices to the internet, with most offering the same types of internet services. Some ISPs also provide services such as website design or e-commerce facilities.

  • ISPs use different technologies to enable customer connectivity to their network, with the most common types being broadband, dial-up, and satellite connections. Most ISPs also offer a range of packages aimed at different levels of users based on factors such as connection speed, email addresses, or web space.
  • When selecting an ISP, considering their costs and quality of service is important. Factors such as the number of users needing an internet connection, contention ratios, and other terms and conditions can also be important. It’s important to determine if either now or in the future, you might require flexible service plans or scalable solutions.

How Many ISPs Are There in the World?

The number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) has increased exponentially since the commercialization of the Internet. There are now approximately 66,000 ISPs around the world, with the majority located in the United States. However, most of these ISPs provide only local service and rely on access to regional and national ISPs for wider connectivity. The rise of commercial Internet services and applications has fueled the growth of the industry, with larger providers such as America Online Inc.

 leading the way. Despite the high number of providers, the industry has seen consolidation in recent years, with smaller to medium-sized ISPs merging or being acquired by larger companies. ISPs offer a range of services, including internet connectivity, email, and web hosting for individuals and businesses. As the ever-evolving technology landscape continues to change, the number of ISPs is expected to grow.

Mapping the Global ISP Landscape

The Internet has become an integral part of our lives, and the number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) has increased significantly. Mapping the Global ISP Landscape reveals the following facts: Tier 1 ISPs represent the largest Autonomous Systems (ASes) in the hierarchy of ISPs. They own and operate their network infrastructure, providing direct connections to the backbone of the internet.

  • Tier 1 ISPs play a crucial role in interconnecting other ISPs and exchanging internet traffic with other networks, resulting in a high level of control and quality over the delivery of internet services to their customers. The global ISP landscape is vast and competitive, with larger ASes tending to have better peering arrangements with other ISPs. Smaller ISPs may have lower network gravity and pay larger ISPs for peering.
  • Settlement-free peering is a type of internet peering arrangement where two ISPs exchange traffic without exchanging money. The global ISP landscape is continually evolving, and ISPs are continually competing for market share, resulting in varied internet service quality and pricing worldwide.

Statistical Analysis of Global ISPs

The global ISP market is highly fragmented, with over 66,000 providers operating worldwide. However, the top 10 ISPs account for over 50% of the market share. This suggests that the market is becoming more consolidated, with a few large providers dominating the industry.

The fastest-growing ISP market is in Asia-Pacific, as this region is experiencing rapid economic growth and urbanization. The most competitive ISP market is in Europe, as there are a large number of ISPs operating in a relatively small area.

Other Statistics:

  • The top 10 ISPs account for over 50% of the global market share.
  • The average ISP has around 100,000 customers.
  • The fastest-growing ISP market is in Asia-Pacific.
  • The most competitive ISP market is in Europe.


The Internet has become an integral part of our lives, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) play a crucial role in connecting us to the digital world. As of 2023, there are over 10,000 ISPs worldwide, marking a 5.1% increase from the previous year. While the number may seem overwhelming, the majority of these ISPs are locally based, relying on larger regional and national providers for wider connectivity. The commercialization of the Internet in the late 1980s and early 1990s, coupled with progress in computer technology and the emergence of local area networks (LANs), expedited the growth of ISPs.


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