“We like to travel”
— seminar attendee during coffee break at a seminar
This reminded us that for many people with good jobs, training is part of the job – including traveling for it… and some people appreciate taking courses in interesting places so they can stay an extra day for a side trip.
In that spirit, here are a couple of outstanding free places to visit close to the Santa Clara BOOT CAMP in March:
1. Pescadero Beach. google maps
Just over the mountains that separate Silicon Valley from the Pacific Ocean is Pescadero Beach State Park and the Northern California coastline. The best part are the tide pools full of interesting things like anemones. picture
Wireless Telecommunications is a comprehensive course on wireless, mobile telecommunications plus wireless LANs and satellites.
We begin with basic concepts and terminology including base stations and transceivers, mobile switches and backhaul, handoffs, cellular radio concepts and digital radio concepts.
Then, we cover spectrum-sharing technologies and their variations in chronological order: GSM/TDMA vs. CDMA for second generation, 1X vs. UMTS CDMA for third generation along with their data-optimized 1XEV-DO and HSPA, how Steve Jobs ended the standards wars with the iPhone and explaining the OFDM spectrum-sharing method of LTE for 4G.
This course is completed with a lesson on WiFi, or more precisely, 802.11 wireless LANs, and a lesson on satellite communications.
You’ll gain a solid understanding of the key principles of wireless and mobile networks:
• Coverage, capacity and mobility
• Why cellular radio systems are used
• Mobile network components and operation
• Registration and handoffs
• Digital radio
• “Data” over cellular: Internet access
• Cellular technologies: FDMA, TDMA, CDMA, OFDM
• Generations: 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G
• Systems: GSM, UMTS, 1X, HSPA, LTE
• WiFi, 802.11 wireless LANs
• Satellite communications
A two-day course for finance, strategy, management, software, customer support and other personnel providing a comprehensive overview and update on telecom network technologies.
Our goal is to bust the buzzwords, explain the jargon, technologies and standard practices in the telecom network business, and importantly, the underlying ideas and how it all fits together.
Complete with a detailed book for future reference, this course will fill in the gaps and provide you with the knowledge you need to eliminate frustration and be more accurate and productive.
This training is an investment that will be repaid many times over. Join us for this career-enhancing opportunity!
Demystify Buzzwords And Jargon
One of the biggest challenges in telecommunications is all of the acronyms, abbreviations, jargon and buzzwords.
The list goes on and on: POTS, PSTN, loops, trunks, VoIP, SIP trunking, Hosted PBX, DSL, DS1, T1, PRI, ILEC, CLEC, POP, MAN, TDMA, CDMA, LAN, WAN, Ethernet, MAC address, MAC frame, IP packet, TCP/IP, OSI, Layer 2, Layer 3, VLAN, TDM, DWDM, FTTN, FTTH, FTTP, DHCP, NAT, MPLS, VPN, SLA, ISP, DNS …
Plus, there is a second-order problem: even if you were to figure out all of the current jargon and buzzwords, it’s certain that new ones will be invented next month!
It can be very frustrating sitting in meetings with these terms flying around and not understanding most of them… particularly when someone asks your opinion.
So the question is: how to get on top of all the jargon and buzzwords, knowing that there is going to be constant change?
Our answer: understand the fundamentals. Take the cover off the box and understand how it works. Once we do this, we discover that there are only a few main ideas in telecom technology, with incremental improvement in each area.
Taking this course and understanding the fundamental ideas puts you back in control, with the confidence to contribute effectively. Even if you don’t know the exact details of a product someone is discussing, you will still know what they are talking about.
Understand The Network Cloud
People like to draw a diagram of a network as a cloud with sticks poking into it, and refer to the network as “The Cloud”. This might be useful for drawing diagrams, but if you are using, planning, ordering, managing, troubleshooting, developing software for or otherwise involved with telecom circuits and services, understanding what’s inside is productivity- and career-enhancing knowledge.
In this course, you will learn how circuits and services are actually provided, giving you the knowledge to make meaningful comparisons and accurate decisions.
We’ll explore every different aspect of The Cloud:
The fundamental structure of the network: access, switching and transmission;
The companies that physically implement the network: ILECs, CLECs, IXCs, how and where they interconnect, and
The components of a service: access circuit technology, network service type and billing plan;
The equipment used: switches, routers, multiplexers, fiber and modems;
How users share the network: channels, packets and Service Levels.
Gain Vendor-Independent Knowledge You Can Build On
The knowledge you gain taking this training course is vendor-independent foundational knowledge in telecommunications.
You will be able to build on this proven knowledge base to quickly get up to speed for a particular project – then have the versatility to work on subsequent projects.
The cost of this training will be repaid in productivity gain many times over.
Based on Teracom’s proven instructor-led training courses developed and refined over twenty years providing training for organizations including AT&T, Verizon, Bell Canada, Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, Qualcomm, the CIA, NSA, IRS, FAA, US Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force and hundreds of others, Teracom online courses are top-notch, top-quality and right up to date with the topics and knowledge you need.
Teracom was awarded a US Government Federal Supply Schedule (GSA) contract for these training services… which involved an independent evaluation where we scored a 97% quality rating from our customers!
Join us today to make this invaluable addition to your knowledge and skills!
Fundamentals of TelephonyIt all begins with the Public Switched Telephone Network and Plain Ordinary Telephone Service. We’ll establish with a model for the PSTN, explaining analog circuits, loops, trunks, remotes, circuit switching and other telephony buzzwords and jargon. We’ll understand how the network is organized into access, switching and transmission. We’ll cover Centrex and traditional PBX, then understand Voice over IP (VoIP) concepts and components, soft switches and SIP trunking.
With the fundamentals in place, we’ll cover digital. You will learn what is really meant by “digital”, how voice is digitized to 64 kb/s, and MP4 digital video. We’ll complete the story understanding how the resulting bits are communicated using binary pulses on copper and fiber.
Analog and Digital: What Do We Really Mean?
Continuous Signals, Discrete Signals
Voice Digitization (Analog → Digital Conversion)
Voice Reconstruction (Digital → Analog Conversion)
Voice Digitization: 64kb/s G.711 Standard
Digital Video: H.264 / MPEG-4 Standard
Implementing Digital: Binary Pulses
3. The Telecommunications Industry, Competition and Interconnect
In this chapter, you will gain a solid understanding of the telecommunications business and how it is structured, including telephone companies, local and long-distance, and how these companies compete and interconnect. You will understand how each organization fits into the picture, including ILECs, IXCs, resellers, CLECs, collocations, regional rings, POPs and MANs.
US Domestic Telcos
AT&T and Verizon
PSTN Switching Center Hierarchy
1984: LECs, IXCs and POPs – Last Mile: Switched Access from ILEC
Competitive Carrier – Last Mile: Dedicated Line from ILEC
Competitive Carrier – Last Mile CLEC: Collocation plus ILEC Dark Fiber
Competitive Carrier Network Model: Regional Rings, POPs and MANs
4. The Cloud
Next, we will demystify the Network Cloud. You will learn why people draw a picture of a cloud to represent a network, then most importantly, what is inside the cloud and understand what’s really going on. You will learn about the three basic kinds of network services available, the equipment used to implement each, and how services are actually provided… highly useful knowledge when planning, ordering, troubleshooting, auditing, or otherwise dealing with carrier services.
Anatomy of a Service
Inside the Network Cloud
Network Equipment: How and Where Each is Used
Summary: How Services Are Provided
5. “Data” Communications and Network Basics
We’ll begin the second day understanding what “convergence” is and how it was achieved by treating telephone calls and television like data communications. Then, we’ll get you up to speed on the concepts, jargon, buzzwords and technologies that were originally developed for datacom and now used for everything. You’ll learn the basic ITU model for data circuits, then plain English explanations of Ethernet, MAC frames and MAC addresses, IP packets and IP addresses, and how they relate.
Convergence: Treat Everything Like Data
Data Circuit Model
Wide Area Networks
Ethernet and 802 standards
Frames and MAC Addresses
Packets and IP Addresses
Packets vs. Frames
6. The OSI Layers and Protocol Stacks
There are so many functions that must be performed to interoperate systems, a structure is required to organize the functions so that separate issues can be treated separately. For this purpose, we’ll use the ISO Open Systems Interconnection 7-Layer Reference Model. You’ll learn what a layer is, the purpose of each layer, examples of protocols like TCP and IP used to implement layers, an overview of many different protocols and functions you’ve heard of, and understand how a protocol stack works for applications like web surfing and VoIP.
Protocols and Standards
ISO OSI Reference Model
OSI 7-Layer Model
Physical Layer: 802.3, DSL, DOCSIS
Data Link Layer: 802 MAC
Network Layer: IP and MPLS
Transport Layer: TCP and UDP
Session Layer: POP, SIP, HTTP
Presentation Layer: ASCII, Encryption, Codecs
Application Layer: SMTP, HTML, English …
Protocol Stack in Operation: Babushka Dolls
7. IP Networks, Routers and Addresses
This chapter is dedicated to IP. We begin with the simplest framework, a private network, to understand routing and bandwidth on demand. We’ll introduce the term Customer Edge router and examine the functions performed by a router. Then we will cover IPv4 addressing: IPv4 address classes, static vs. dynamic addresses and DHCP, public and private addresses and NAT, and IPv6, how IPv6 addresses are allocated and assigned, and types of IPv6 addresses.
Simplest IP Network Example: Routers Connected with Dedicated Lines
Routers and Customer Edge (CE)
IPv4 Address Classes
DHCP, Static and Dynamic Addresses
Public and Private IPv4 Addresses
Network Address Translation
IPv6 Address Allocation and Address Types
8. Transmission Systems
We’ll begin with the basics of fiber and wavelengths, then compare older channelized transmission systems like T1 and SONET to newer packet-based transmission systems based on IP and Optical Ethernet.
Fiber Optics and Fiber Cables
Wave-Division Multiplexing: CWDM and DWDM
Channelized Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)
DS0s and SONET Framing
Channelized Digital Hierarchy: Standard Legacy Transmission Speeds
Digital Carrier Systems: Legacy Transmission Technologies
Statistical Time Division Multiplexing
Overbooking and Bandwidth on Demand
IP Packets and Optical Ethernet
9. The Last Mile
To complete the transmission story, we’ll briefly explore how the “last mile” is connected: fiber to the premise, active and passive, and fiber to the neighborhood followed by DSL or cable modems on copper.
Fiber to the Premise: PONs and Active Ethernet
Fiber to the Neighborhood (FTTN), DSL to the Premise
Broadband Carriers: FTTN & Broadband Coax to the Premise
DOCSIS and Cable Modem Standards
10. MPLS and Carrier Networks
IP packets will be used to carry everything, including phone calls and television. But IP in itself does not include any Quality of Service (QoS) mechanism, no way to prioritize or manage traffic. This is implemented with MPLS. In this chapter, you’ll learn the basics of carrier packet networks, identifying Provider Edge (PE), Customer Edge (CE), access and core, and the important concept of a Service Level Agreement. Then without bogging down on details, you’ll get a big-picture understanding of MPLS and how it is used to implement business customer services, differentiated services and Class of Service (CoS), service integration and traffic aggregation.
Carrier Packet Network Basics
Service Level Agreement
Provider Equipment at the Customer Premise
Virtual Circuit Technologies
MPLS VPNs for Business Customers
MPLS and Diff-Serv to Support Classes of Service
MPLS for Service Integration
MPLS for Traffic Aggregation
11. The Internet
The Internet is a giant collection of interconnected IP networks called Autonomous Systems across which the public can communicate IP packets. In this chapter, we’ll understand what an ISP is and how they connect to others via transit and peering, and conclude by understanding telephone calls over the Internet and secure VPNs over the Internet.
A Network To Survive Nuclear War
The Inter-Net Protocol
Internet Service Providers
Internet Telephony & VSPs
12. Wrapping Up
The final chapter brings all of the concepts together with a top-down review. You’ll learn valuable insight into telecom project management and methodology, and review telecom, datacom and networking technologies, services and solutions. We’ll conclude with a peek at the future of telecommunications, where the telephone network and Internet become the same thing.
Technology Deployment Steps
Review: Circuits and Services
Access and Transmission Technology Roundup
Carrier IP Services
Our goal is to explain the underlying concepts, providing you with a practical understanding of telecom technologies and services, without bogging down on details. You will gain a solid base of structured knowledge that can be applied to immediate projects and can be built on in the future… an investment in productivity that will be repaid many times over.
Six Reasons to Take This Course
Teracom’s courses have been taught to wide acclaim across North America since 1992 and are designed for professionals needing to fill in the gaps, build a solid base of knowledge and understand how it all fits together.
Cut through the buzzwords, jargon and vendor hype to gain a structured understanding of telecommunications and networking, allowing you to make meaningful comparisons and informed decisions… knowledge skills you can put to use today and in the future.
Get up to speed on the latest developments and trends. This course is totally up to date with SIP trunking, VoIP, Optical Ethernet, MPLS and more.
Get a solid base of vendor-independent knowledge of technologies, service providers, standard practices and mainstream solutions that you can build on.
Understand how it all fits together.
Learn more with instructor-led training – the best kind of training you can get – where you can interact and ask questions with instructors consistently rated “excellent” on student evaluations.
Obtain a course book with detailed notes that will be a valuable reference for years.
Develop a structure for understanding technologies and solutions, allowing you to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons — knowledge you can’t get on the job, reading trade magazines or talking to vendors.
Your Course Materials: An Invaluable Reference
Every course comes complete with a high-quality course book that’s been called the best on-the-job reference tool around. Written in plain English, this easy-to-use reference includes copies of all graphics PLUS extensive detailed text notes. Topics are organized in logical groups to give you easy reference after the seminar to the practical experience, theoretical background, and unbiased information on industry technologies, products and trends you’ll need. With numerous chapters covering all major topics, you’ll obtain an invaluable resource impossible to find anywhere else in one book.
Free Bonuses! Online Courses & CTNS Certification
As a free bonus, you get the full set of Teracom’s Online Courses. Not only are these an excellent way to take a second pass through various topics, the Online Courses include pictures of equipment and additional lessons beyond those in this course.
If you choose to write the optional exams, you can earn Telecommunications Certification Organization (TCO) Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist (CTNS) Certification, complete with Certificate suitable for framing and a personalized Letter of Reference for your résumé.
Certification is concrete proof of your knowledge. The included Unlimited Plan option allows you to repeat exams as needed until you pass… which means guaranteed to pass if you’re willing to learn!
Here’s What Seminar Attendees Like You Are Saying
Hundreds of people like you have benefited from Teracom’s core training. Many tell us this was their best course ever; filled gaps in their knowledge and tied everything together… knowledge they’ve been needing for years. Others on course their first week on the job remarked “what a wonderful way to get started in the business.”
Here’s a sampling of comments from Teracom alumni:
“Feedback from my team was TERRIFIC. It gave our entire technical Call Center a common foundation, and you seem to have crafted that perfect balance between technical depth, real-world applications, and lively delivery. I couldn’t be happier with the results. The things my team learned from this training were applied in real-world situations almost immediately.”
– Rusty Walther, Vice President, Client Services, AboveNet Communications
“Excellent! I learned a lot – everyday terms, definitions, and acronyms. Seminar notebook very helpful. The instructor was the best I ever had – lots of knowledge and experience and stories were GREAT.”
– Serena Laursen, Microsoft
“The selection of material – the order of its presentation – the way it was presented… incredibly effective at presenting concepts and ideas – uses great analogies and stays on topic.”
– Susan Lennon, Nortel
“The seminar delivered exactly what was advertised, at a very high quality.
Truth in advertising!” – Gary Lundberg, Copper Mountain Networks
Whether you work for an organization that produces telecom, datacom or networking products or services; or you buy these products and services – or just have to get up to speed on what all the rest of them are talking about when they say “SIP trunking”, “Ethernet”, “MAC frame”, 4G, MPLS or VPN…
“Best course we have ever had onsite at 3Com”
“Perfect content; well organized, well paced, building block approach,
resulted in a very nice cathedral” – Jim George, Qualcomm
“Course was excellent! One of the best I have taken. Extremely well organized and presented. Seminar workbook is outstanding – a very valuable reference” – Kieran Delaney, Maritime Life
“I liked most the use of analogies to explain complex concepts. It delivered exactly what the brochure promoted. Gave me a thorough understanding so I feel more confident.”
– Judith Myers, Ameritech
“Excellent! Tied the individual pieces of knowledge together into a picture… was interactive and built up the knowledge layers properly.” – Jim Geiss, Qwest
“Filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge of networking… able to deliver the knowledge effectively and entertainingly. Excellent seminar”- Kirk Kroeker, IEEE Computer Society
“Great information that I will be able to use at work. Very easy to understand all the information especially the IP networking part. I wouldn’t change a thing”
– Orlando Jasso, AboveNet Communications.
“Layman’s terms with humor was very relaxing – helped me concentrate… understanding is now CLEAR … the manual will be very helpful” – Linda Côté, Bell Canada
“Best instructor I have had on a course – excellent explainer in layman terms, not techie terms”
– Susan Coleman, Bell Sygma
“Best course materials ever; the full text descriptions are invaluable.
Course filled in so many gaps for me. Bravo!” – Ross Brooks, Vertek
“Outstanding! The best I’ve encountered, and I’ve attended many seminars.”
– Bob Gibbons, WMX Technologies
Private Onsite Courses
Since 1992, we have provided high-quality on-site training in telecommunications for non-engineering professionals at AT&T, Verizon, Bell Canada, TELUS, Qualcomm, 3Com, Cisco, Intel, Alcatel, Nortel, Teleglobe, the NSA, Defense Information Systems Agency, US Coast Guard, US Air Force, Office of Naval Intelligence, MindSpring, APEX Telecom, Equifax, Transamerica Insurance, The Hartford, American Broadband, Cap Gemini, ComSec Establishment, MicroCell Telecom, TDS Telecom, Kyocera, Winstar, Western Wireless, US Cellular, Ericsson/Hewlett-Packard, Entergy, Intelsat, RangeTel, Alltel, Vertek, DSCI, Cox Cable, Florida Power and Light, Frontier Communications, Western Iowa Telephone, Genuity, LG Electronics, Panasonic, SouthEast Telephone, State of Nebraska, State of Montana, Tektronix, Bermuda Telecom, UTS and the Universal Service Administrative Company… to name a few. Plus, we have a GSA contract with pre-approved government pricing.
Onsite training has special advantages:
Your personnel will be up to a common speed with a solid knowledge base.
We’ll fill in the gaps and put in place productivity-enhancing structured understanding of telecom and networking fundamentals, wireless, TCP/IP, MPLS, VoIP… to meet your requirements..
The seminar will be a strong team-building exercise.
Significant reductions in training costs are often achieved.
Each student receives a detailed workbook / textbook that will be a valuable reference for years to come.
Pre- and post-training testing is available, including team results on a spreadsheet
We have built a solid reputation for delivering high-quality private team-training programs that are a resounding success. We’d like to do the same for you! Please contact us at 1-877-412-2700 for more information.
About the Author
Eric Coll is an international expert in telecommunications, data communications and networking and has been actively involved in the industry since 1983. He holds Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering (Electrical) degrees.
Mr. Coll has taught telecommunications technology training seminars to wide acclaim across North America since 1992, and has broad experience working as an engineer in the telecommunications industry. He has worked for Nortel’s R&D labs as a design engineer on projects including digital voice and data communications research and digital telecom network equipment design, and on satellite radar systems, consulting on Wide Area Network design, and many other projects in capacities ranging from detailed design and implementation to systems engineering, project leader and consultant.
In addition to being founder and Director of Teracom Training Institute, Mr. Coll provides consulting to the telecommunications industry, specializing in telecommunications technology R&D and as a Subject Matter Expert in tax matters.
The latest edition reflects how “convergence” has finally been achieved by treating voice and video like data, in IP packets.
VoIP is promoted to “fundamentals”, channelized TDM and SONET is demoted to “legacy technology”, replaced with IP/Ethernet backbones. Other updates include fiber to the home, and VDSL and DOCSIS 3.1 for the last mile.
As always, our goal is to bust the buzzwords, demystify jargon, understand technologies and mainstream solutions and – most importantly – the ideas underlying all of this, and how it all works together, in plain English … knowledge you can’t get on the job, talking to vendors or reading articles.
MPLS and Carrier Networks is a comprehensive training course designed to build a solid understanding of carrier packet networks and services, the terminology, technologies, configuration, operation and most importantly, the underlying ideas… in plain English.
This course can be taken by both those who need simply an overview and introduction to the fundamentals of carrier packet networks and MPLS, and by those who need to get up to speed and establish a solid base that project or job-specific knowledge can be built on.
We’ll cut through the buzzwords and marketing to demystify carrier packet networks and services, explaining Service Level Agreements, traffic profiles, virtual circuits, QoS, Class of Service, Differentiated Services, integration, convergence and aggregation, MPLS and other network technologies, and how they relate to TCP/IP without bogging down on details.
You will gain career- and productivity-enhancing knowledge of the structure, components and operation of carrier packet networks and services, how they are implemented, packaged and marketed by carriers and how they are used by government, business… and other carriers.
Course 110 IP, VoIP and MPLS for the
Non-Engineering Professional is the “next” course in our Core Training series, covering only newer technologies: virtually all aspects of IP networks and services.
Designed for non-engineers, this training course will give you the solid, vendor-independent foundation knowledge necessary to deal with IP telecom network projects and IP voice and data applications with confidence.
If you want to know the answers to these questions, or you should know the answer to these questions, but don’t, this is the course for you:
When an organization like AT&T or TELUS says it “has an MPLS network” and sells “MPLS services”,
– What exactly does that mean?
– Just what is an MPLS service anyway? What does it do? Who uses it? What for?
– Can you tell me two different ways MPLS service is different than Internet service?
– What benefit does that bring to the customer?
– Does it cost more? Better yet, is it costed the same way as Internet service?
– How do you connect to MPLS service?
– What is the technology and business environment for MPLS service going to in 2015?
I think you’ll agree that knowledge set is career-enhancing knowledge. We often tell people “if you want a guaranteed job, be an expert in MPLS”. Here’s a great place to start!
And this is only one part of this intensive, three-day leadership and technology development course!
You will also learn the workings of SIP and softswitches; the nuts-and-bolts of packetized voice and its protocols; Layer 2, VLANs and 10 Mb/s – 40 Gb/s Ethernet services; IP routing; the ISP business and more.
In three days, you’ll get up to speed, demystify jargon and buzzwords, fill the gaps, understand the technologies, the underlying ideas and how it all fits together… knowledge you can’t get from trade magazines or salespeople.
This investment will be repaid many times over, eliminating frustration at buzzword-filled meetings, increasing your efficiency, and helping ensure you make the right choices. IP, VoIP and MPLS is an essential knowledge set going forward in telecommunications.
This professional training course will give you the solid, vendor-independent foundation necessary to deal with IP telecom network projects and IP voice and data applications with confidence.
Get this career-enhancing knowledge today! more info
Originally, the only way to get on to the Internet was from a terminal connected to a computer at a university or research institute. The Internet was mostly circuits paid for by the taxpayers via the National Science Foundation. Today, commercial Internet access providers, called Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide the capability for anyone to access and communicate over on the Internet. These ISPs are for the most part business units of facilities-based carriers, i.e. telephone companies and cable companies.
Such service providers have physical access circuits and circuit-terminating equipment on the customer side, plus routers, security and access control equipment to manage customer traffic. This is often organized with data centers in cities or regions, which are interconnected. This ensemble of interconnected routers controlled by an ISP is called an Autonomous System (AS).
The Internet is a vast, unregulated collection of interconnected Autonomous Systems. The connections between ASs are not specified by a central authority or world government, but are implemented on a case-by-case basis by the operators of an AS for business reasons. The Internet is not free. It is not a public utility. It is a business.
ISPs operating ASs will connect to competitors and content providers like Google to exchange traffic terminating on each other’s network (called peering), and will connect to larger organizations who will assure delivery of packets to other destinations (transit). The networks are physically connected at Internet Exchange (IX) centers such as Equinix Chicago at 350 E Cermak. These are buildings with equipment implementing network interconnection operated by a neutral third party. The ASs are responsible for paying for connectivity to the IX.
Course 101, page 16.09: Internet Service Providers
Peering is settlement-free, i.e. no money is exchanged. Transit is a commercial service that costs money. Larger ISPs charge smaller ISPs for transit services. The largest networks are sometimes called Tier-1 service providers… but “Tier-1” is not an officially defined term. Some claim that it means a network “close to the center of the Internet” or a network that does not pay for transit. However, there is no “center” to the Internet, and virtually all networks employ a mix of peering and transit agreements to connect to other networks… and the nature of such connections is non-disclosed confidential business information. A “Tier-1 network” might best be thought of as one operated by a very big facilities-based carrier that has presence in most or all IXs and sells transit services to smaller networks and ISPs.
The ISPs build the access network and peering or transit connections to other networks, then charge the users for access. It’s a pyramid scheme. The end users end up paying for all.
In addition to access services, the ISP usually provides a Web server to host your website, a Domain Name Server, and an e-mail server.
Back in the Flintstones era when dial-up Internet access was first available, telcos were a bit slow to react, so for a while, companies like Netcom, MindSpring, Portal, Pipeline, iStar and others had their day in the sun. These organizations were resellers, leasing circuits from a carrier and reselling them to users under per-minute or per-month billing plans.
The carriers eventually began competing with resellers, who for the most part went out of business, selling their customers to the carriers. For example, Netcom is now part of Earthlink, which is majority owned by Sprint. AOL and MSN are the biggest remaining reseller-type ISPs. For the most part, it is business units of the companies that own the cables coming into your home: the LEC and the cable TV company that are the dominant ISPs today.
If you do choose to use a reseller-type ISP, particularly for a business or organization, questions regarding customer service, capacity and availability should be asked. Another is redundancy – do they have a single point of failure? Do they have multiple connections to different Tier-1 providers? What capacity are those connections?