Who are your service providers?

Jan 17, 2022
The Telecommunication Act 1997 describes two types of service providers: telecommunication carriers and carriage service providers. Carriers are those companies that hold physical infrastructure like cables, satellites, transmission stations etc.

Carriage service providers include a wide variety of organisations that provide a diverse suite of telecommunication-related services.

In the context of security your website and email, the following are most relevant:

Internet access provider

An internet access provider is the organisation that provides you with access to the Internet. When setting up a new office or moving to a new house, one of the first things you probably do is signing up to an internet plan with one of the access providers. They will likely offer you access through NBN, ADSL, FTTB, and/or Mobile.

Domain name registrar

When you need to have a website, you will have to lease a domain (a website address) from a registrar. Your selected registrar managed the address and makes sure it is available. A list of accredited .au registrars can be found here. Are you unsure who your registrar is, then look it up in the WhoIs database by entering your web address.

Web hosting provider

When you’re running a website, you will need a place to store its data. Storage room (space on a server) is provided by a web hosting provider. When a visitor looks up information on a website, the hosting provider ‘serves’ your data.

Email provider

An email provider is the organisation that provides the technical efforts behind the sending and receiving of your emails.

Web security provider

A web security provider is an organisation that typically steps in between your website and the web hosting provider in order to monitor, secure and – potentially – stop traffic to and from your website. When using a web security provider, they will be your first port of call for website issues.

Email security provider

An email security provider is an organisation that typically steps in between your email provider and your email client in order to monitor, scan, secure and – potentially – stop messages to and from your email client. When using an email security provider, they will be your first port of call for emailing issues.

Managed service provider

A managed service provider is an organisation that typically manages IT infrastructure and/or internet security for you, normally on a subscription basis.