the NIC?

An entity that provides IP service to a customer base, either
  in a closed environment (no external world view) or open, world
  connected Internet service. At a minimum this would entail a
  bilateral aggreement with another provider to exchange routing
  information between the two.
    Seems that the above is a sufficient definition.
It's either too much or not enough:
- "An entity that provides IP service to a customer base"
  in itself sufficiently defines an internet (lowercase!)
  service provider.
- Even though a particular customer of a certain internet
  service provider may have access to most of the Internet
  (uppercase!), certain parts of the Internet may well be
  blocked to him due to AUP constraints.
- Exchanging of routing information is pretty useless if
  it isn't accompanied by exchanging of traffic. In fact
  it's *only* the latter that determines whether a certain
  internet service provider is an Internet service provider.
- One of the parties in the last sentence must have Internet
  connectivity, otherwise we're still speaking of internet
  service providers only.

So I would propose the following wording:
  An entity that provides IP-based services to a customer base,
  in a closed group of networks or - as far as possible within
  Acceptable Use Policy constraints - to the Internet at large.
  At a minimum the latter would entail a bilateral agreement
  with at least one Internet-connected service provider to
  exchange traffic and routing information between the two.

From dsj Tue Oct 5 17:48:22 1993
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