What services should your ISP be providing?

As Internet Service has evolved so have the service offerings of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Not too long ago the majority of ISPs were providing USENET feeds. If you remember those you have been at this for a long time.

For those of you just getting started or wanting to do an evaluation on your network here are some thoughts on services you should or should not be providing.

Let’s dive into the short list

DNS – Must Have
You should be running your own Doman Name Service (DNS) resolvers. There are many benefits to you and your customers.

e-mail – Don’t worry about offering
The advent of free or low-cost e-mail services has seen a rapid decline in the need for ISPs to their customers. For ISPs who offer e-mail, it is a service that generates many trouble tickets. From SPAM complaints all the way down to them not receiving emails. Leave offering email to customers to the GMAIL folks of the world.

Web-Site Hosting – Optional
If you are a Managed Service provider (MSP) then web-hosting can be a lucrative business. With web-site hosting also comes e-mail hosting.

VOIP
Voice Over IP (VOIP) is a hot topic these days. Many grants mention the ability to provide voice services as a requirement. Outsource this to providers such as Atheral.

Thats it! There are many other services you could extend to customers. There are also services which are not public facing you might want to run. Radius is on example of services you would run internally. As a service provider you should be spending as much effort on delivering solid access to your customers. Other services can be found by the end users themselves from dedicated services.