Internet Service Providers
Internet Service Provider - a company or organisation that provides Internet access to consumers.
The most common way of accessing the Internet is via an ISP, although a few organisations do essentially have direct access. For example, in the UK, most higher educational institutions connect via JANET - the joint academic network. If you work for JANET, you essentially have direct access, whereas your academic institution may well use a JANET Point of Presence as their ISP.
Have a look at the ISP review site to investigate the range of commercial ISPs currently available in the UK.
Next: Connecting to an ISP