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I have some questions about the roles of ISPs, DNS, how packets work, etc.

For example: What service do ISPs actually provide?

I'm trying to categorically distinguish between transit ISPs and regular ISPs, Tier 1 networks, what an "IP backbone" is, what factors determine the "speed" of the Internet outside cable type, length, and an ISP's arbitrary rate-limiting as per their consumer offerings (and not merely the speed that users receive, but the theoretical maximum speed).

I looked at the FAQ for the various computer/programming-based SE sites (SO, Programmers, IT Security, Server Fault, Theoretical CS, etc.) and this place seems the most appropriate, but I just wanted to make sure.

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  • "transit ISP" and "regular ISP" don't mean anything, and a lot of these terms are marketing terms. You don't have particularly bad questions in a general sense, but they're not good on SE sites. I'm not sure what the best option for you is. – Aaron Dec 14 '11 at 0:33
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This isn't the correct place either.

We mainly focus on questions that solve practical problems.

Your example questions are far too broad to be answered and would depend on quite a few assumptions. For example: country, definition of ISP, infrastructure and more.

If you did provide enough information for us to answer your question it would in all likelihood be Too Localized instead, and still not solve a practical problem.

I can't say that this question belongs on any SE site that I'm familiar with.

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  • "I cant say that this question belongs on any SE-site that I'm familiar with." :'( – stoicfury Dec 13 '11 at 20:01
  • @stoicfury Unfortunately, we can't have a site for everything :/ – Simon Sheehan Dec 14 '11 at 1:41

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